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Part I Revolution 

with a Foreword by The Duke 

of Northumberland. 

Published by 








- 17. 2 5 . 

First published in 1923 



ADMIKAL NICHOLAS HOBTHY . . .frontispiece 

' RED ' POSTERS page 16 




JULIUS HEVESI alias HONIG . . . 48 










EUGENE SZANTO alias SCHREIBER . . . ,,122 


TERRORISTS (I.) ,,140 












BELA VAGO alias WEISS 202 






1 5 

II 21 

III 35 

IV 53 

V 68 

VI 84 

VII 99 


IX 125 

X 137 

XI 148 

XII 162 

XIII 177 

XIV 189 

XV . .201 

APPENDIX . . 216 



Night of March 21st, 1919. 

THERE followed a moment's silence, the awful silence of 
the executioner's sword suspended in the air. Humanity 
in bondage draws its head between its shoulders, and, like 
the sweat of the agonising, cold rain, pours down the walls 
of the houses. Now . . . 

A bestial voice shrieks again in the street : " LONG LIVE 

The neighbouring streets repeat the cry. A drawn 
shutter rattles violently in the dark. Street doors bang 
as they are hurriedly closed. Running steps clatter past 
the houses, accompanied by two sounds : " Long live . . . 
Death ..." The latter is meant for us. Shots ring out 
at the street corner. 

" Death to the bourgeois ! " A bullet strikes a lamp 
and there is a shower of glass on the pavement. A carriage 
drives past furiously, then stops suddenly amid shouts. 
A confused noise follows and the shooting dies away in the 
distance. Other cars follow its track into the maddened, 
lightless town. What is happening there, beyond it, 
everywhere, in the barracks, in the boulevards ? Sailors 
are looting the inner city : a handful of Bolsheviks have 
taken possession of the town. There is no escape ! 

One thought alone contains an element of relief : we 
have reached the bottom of the abyss. It is disgraceful 
and humiliating, but it is better than the constant sliding 
down and down. Now we can sink no lower. 

Presently the streets regained their former quiet, and 
nothing but the throbbing of our hearts pierced the silence. 

There is no escape for us. The opened gutters have 
inundated us. St. Stephen's Hungary has fallen under 
the rule of Trotsky's agent, Bela Kun, the embezzler. And 
all round us events are taking place which we have no 
longer the power to prevent. 


I have no idea how long this nightmare lasted. We were 
silent : everybody was struggling with his own sufferings. 
The lamp burnt low, and again the clock struck. I caught 
at its sound, and counted the strokes : nine. Countess 
Chotek, who had been with us, was there no longer, nor 
did I see my brother. Time went slowly on. My room 
appeared to me like the dim background of a painting ; 
figures sat in the picture rigidly, disappeared, and then 
were there again. The door opened and closed. I saw 
my journalist friend, Joseph Cavallier, in a chair which 
had been empty a moment before. He spoke and pressed 
me to go mad rumours were circulating in the town, 
awful events were predicted for the night. Lieut. -Col. Vyx 
and the other members of the Entente missions had been 
arrested, and it was intended to disarm the British monitors 
on the Danube. The Russian Red Army was advancing 
towards the Carpathians, the Bolsheviks had declared for 
the integrity of our territory. Bela Kun's Directorate had 
declared war on the Entente. " You must escape to- 
night," said my friend ; " they are going to arrest you. 
Come to us." 

My mother called me and I opened her door with 
apprehension. She was sitting up in bed, propped high 
between the pillows : her face was livid and appeared 
thinner than ever. She too had heard the cries in the 
street, was aware of what had happened, and knew what 
was in store for us. Her haggard, harassed look inspired 
me with strength to face our fate. 

" Why don't you come here ? Why can't we talk things 
over in here ? " She did not mean to cause pain, but her 
words stabbed me. Poor dear mother ! 

When Joseph Cavallier told her of his proposal she 
shook her head : 

" You live on the other side of the river, don't you ? 
Don't let her go so far." Suddenly she recovered herself 
and turned to me : "It is raining hard and I heard you 
coughing so badly all day." 

The others had followed us into her room, and all had 
something to say. My sister-in-law mentioned her brother 
Zsigmondy who lived near by : he had offered me shelter 
in his home. My mother alone was silent. Though she 
could not say it, it was she who was most anxious for me 
to go. She looked at me imploringly. That decided me. 

" It can only be a question of a day or two," I said. 
"Then, when they have failed to find me here, I can come 


Did I believe what I said ? Did I imagine that things 
would happen like that ? Or did I attempt to deceive 
myself so that I might bear it the more easily ? I noticed 
a deep shadow that stole suddenly, I knew not whence, 
over my mother's face. It appeared on the other faces too, 
as if all of them had aged suddenly. And beyond them, 
around us, in the houses opposite, all over the town, people 
aged suddenly in that ghastly hour. 

They all went away and left me alone in my room. I 
knew I ought to hurry, yet I stood idle in front of the open 
cupboard. How many, I thought, are standing, hesitating 
like this to-night, how many are hurrying and running 
aimlessly about, not knowing whither to turn ? Will it 
be the same here as in Russia ? Quietly the door opened 
behind me : my mother had risen and came to me so that 
we might be together as long as possible. 

" I will take just a few things, very few," I kept repeating, 
as if I wanted to force the hand of fate to make my 
trial short. " Perhaps I may be able to come home 
to-morrow ..." 

My mother did not answer. She tied the parcels together 
for me. 

11 The housekeeper must not know till to-morrow morning 
that you have gone ..." She looked out into the ante- 
room to see that no one was about, then opened the door 
herself and accompanied me down the corridor. The house 
seemed asleep, the sky was black, and the courtyard 
underneath was like a dark shaft in which rain-water had 

Leaning on my arm my mother walked along with me. 
In silence both of us struggled to keep control over our 
emotions. At the front door we stopped. Nothing was 
audible but the patter of the rain. My mother raised her 
hand and passed it over my face, caressingly, as though she 
would feel the outlines that she knew so well. 

" Take every care of yourself, my dear, dear one ! " 

I was already running down the stairs. She was leaning 
over the balustrade, and I heard her voice behind me, 
keeping me company as long as possible, calling softly, 
" Good-night ! " 

" Good-night ..." I called back, but my voice failed 
me in a pain such as I had never felt before. 

Beyond the street door there was a rattle of gunfire. I 
tried to l|3ep cheerful, and kept saying : " To-morrow I 
shall come back to her, to-morrow." I groped my way 
across the dark yard and knocked at the concierge's window. 


He came out, looking curiously at me in the glare of his 
lantern : " There is a lot of shooting out there. It would 
be wiser to stay at home." But I shook my head and the 
key turned in the lock ; the door opened stealthily, and 
closed carefully behind me, as though unwilling to betray 

Next instant I stood alone in the rain. I shuddered : 
my retreat was cut off. Home, everything that was good, 
everything that protected me, was behind that door, 
beyond my reach. 

Motor horns, human shouts, rang here and there hi the 
distance, whilst the rain poured in streams in the broken 
gutters. The road seemed absolutely empty. Suddenly 
I heard steps on the other side of the street. They had not 
approached from the distance but had started quite near 
by ; someone must therefore have stepped from out of the 
shadow of the house opposite. Had he been waiting there 
spying on me ? The steps became hurried, passed me, 
crossed the street. A dark shape hugged the wall under 
the recess of a door. No bell was rung. I stopped for an 
instant : the incertitude of the past few weeks reappeared. 
The knowledge of being watched, pursued, the torture of 
being deprived of my freedom, made me catch my breath. 
The threat had followed me so long, appearing and dis- 
appearing in turn, menacing me from under every porch, 
from every dark corner. Should I fly from it ? Should 
I turn down a by-street ? 

Suddenly I felt tired and ill : my pulses were leaden and 
my brain seemed weighed down with heavy stones. For 
an instant I contemplated giving in. I seemed to be of so 
little significance compared with the enormity of universal 
misfortune. The crash of general collapse had drowned 
the small moans of individual fates. 

The shadow suddenly emerged from under the porch 
and barred my way. We stared at each other. Then a 
well-known voice said, "Is it you ? " It was my brother 
Be"la, who had been watching for me so that he might 
accompany me. 

Only a few lamps were alight on the boulevard, and our 
heels crushed the fragments of glass from the broken ones. 
Empty cartridge cases shone in the puddles. 

Machine-guns stood in the middle of the street. Some 
men passed, carrying a red flag ; then a lorry, bristling 
with bayonets, rumbled heavily by, full of armed sailors. 
One of these shouldered his rifle and aimed at us. He did 
not shoot, and when for an instant he appeared in the light 


of a lamp before the darkness swallowed him again, I 
could see the bestial grin which contorted his face. The 
lorry disappeared, but we could hear his voice shouting 
something in Russian. There are many of these here 
to-day. " A bourgeois, to hell with him ! " The cry of 
Moscow fills Budapest. 

Frightened forms ran across the openings of the streets 
on the other side, and the air was filled with wild movements 
and lurching fear. At last I rang the bell of the front door 
which was to shelter me, and my brother Mashed me God- 
speed and turned back. It was some moments before the 
door opened, and a woman came along, dragging her feet. 
She looked at me suspiciously and seemed frightened. 
Where was I going ? 

I murmured something, crammed some money into her 
hand, and brushed past her. Here too the courtyard waa 
absolutely dark. I hesitated in front of the door of one 
of the flats : something urged me to go on, something else 
drew me back. At last I knocked, and a friendly face 
appeared. The table was still laid under the welcoming 
light of a swinging lamp : how peaceful was the sight of 
that quiet little home after the howling, dirty, soaking 
street ! Michael Zsigmondy and his wife welcomed me, 
but whether or not they had expected me I cannot say ; 
at all events they seemed to consider it quite a natural 
thing that I should have come. 

" What is the time? " 

" Past eleven." 

There was a knock at the door . . . We looked at each 
other. A tall, dark young man entered. " Count Francis 
Hunyadi," announced Zsigmondy, relieved. He did not 
mention my name, and they carefully avoided addressing 
me. The newcomer spoke : 

"Nobody knows what is happening. It is said that the Com- 
munists want to hand the town over to the rabble to plunder." 

I thought of my mother, who was surely thinking of 
me too. Behind her I saw more faintly other faces : 
brothers, sisters, friends, acquaintances. I began to 
tremble for all those I loved. 

Zsiemondy went to the telephone, but the exchange 
gave the invariable answer : " Only official communications 
are permissible." Then that stopped too. The telephone 
exchanges have passed into the hands of the Communists. 

The rain stopped ; the streets livened up, and now and 
then the howls of the excited rabble came up to us : " Long 
live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat I " 


The children were taken into another room, and my bed 
was made up in the night nursery. Bright pictures of 
fairy tales were on the walls, lead-soldiers and toy horses 
on the floor. However long I may live I shall never again 
feel as old as I felt in that nursery. 

March 22nd. 

THE day was already breaking when weariness overcame 
me and lulled me into something resembling sleep. It 
must have lasted a short time only, then an almost physical 
pain about my heart woke me. I felt like a person who 
has lost someone very dear to him and on awakening is 
reminded of his bereavement not by memory but by grief. 
I shrunk from complete awakening. Not yet, not for just 
one more minute ! But it was in vain I tried to hide from 
-consciousness, swiftly I remembered everything. Hungary 
was no longer. She had been betrayed, sold. Finis 

I found myself moaning inarticulately. My heart was 
wounded and bleeding, and the blood that was flowing was 
the blood of all those who were Hungarian. I pressed my 
clenched fists to my eyes, pressed them so hard that my 
^eyeballs hurt and red flashes passed before them. Then I 
opened them quickly and the grey dawn stared at me with 
dimmed eyes. Their day had come ! 

The street seemed dead, but it was only resting from the 
night's revels. It must have been an hour later when steps 
interrupted the silence a hunchbacked little monster was 
coming down the street with a sheaf of posters over his 
arm and a bucket in his hand. Now and then he stopped, 
smeared his paste over a wall, and when he went on red 
posters marked each of his stopping places. 

" Long live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat ! " 

The town must be given no chance to regain its breath, 
to recover consciousness. When it wakes its whole body 
will be covered with the red eruption. It will be every- 
where. It will cover the barracks, the royal palace, the 
very churches. 

I turned away from the window : it was useless looking 
out : everywhere it was the same thing. A morning paper 
was lying on the table. Yesterday's compositors' strike 
was over. Socialist compositors had set the papers of the 
Communists and the red was pervading the black print : 
" Unite, Proletarians of the World ! " This was followed 
by Karolyi's proclamation : 


" To the Hungarian people ! The government has 
resigned. Those who till now have governed by the will 
of the people and with the support of the Proletarians have 
come to the conclusion that circumstances require a new 
orientation. Orderly production can only be secured by 
handing over the power to the Proletarians. Besides the 
danger of anarchy in the productive activities of the 
country there is the danger of foreign politics. The Peace 
Conference in Paris has secretly decided that nearly the 
whole of Hungary is to be occupied by armed forces. The 
mission of the Entente has declared that the lines of 
demarcation will be considered in future as political 
frontiers. The obvious reason for a further occupation of 
the country is that Hungary is to be made the battle 
ground of the war against the Russian Soviet troops, now 
fighting on the Roumanian frontier. The territories robbed 
from us are intended as the reward of those Czech and 
Roumanian armies which are to be used to defeat the 
forces of the Russian Soviet. I, the Provisional President 
of the Hungarian Popular Republic, am obliged by this 
decision of the Paris Conference to appeal to the proletariat 
of the world for justice and help ; consequently I resign 
and hand over the powers of government to the Proletariat 
of Hungary. Michael Karolyi." 

I was filled with disgust. He admits that it was he who 
has handed it over ! I felt with horror that this proclama- 
tion was nothing but the base documentary evidence of 
the sale of a betrayed nation. 

" I alone can save Hungary ! " It was with these words 
that Michael Karolyi started his lies on the 31st of October, 
1918. "I hand the powers of government to the Proletariat 
of Hungary," he declares on the 21st of March, 1919, when 
lies fail him. In the interval he has squandered and sold 
Hungary. The mask has fallen, and behind it appears 
boldly the rabble which he calls the Proletariat of Hungary. 
Practjpally all its leaders appear in the list of the 
" Revolutionary Government Council." Just as in Karolyi's 
Government it is headed by a deceptive Christian clown ; 
Alexander Garbai is the President. The others are all 
foreigners. All the People's Commissaries are Jews, there is 
now and then a Christian among the assistant commissaries, 
then again Jews and still more Jews. Jews are to adminis- 
ter the capital, Jews are at the head of the police. A Jew 
is to be governor of the Austro-Hungarian Bank. 

This list gives one furiously to think. The puppets of 
the October show have been swept from the stage by the 


events of last night. The demoniacal organisers, the raving 
wire-pullers and prompters have taken their place, and for 
the first time in the long history of Hungary, Hungarians 
are excluded from every inch of ground, whether in the hills 
and the vales of the Carpathians, or on the boundless plains. 
The country has been divided up among Czechs, 
Roumanians, Serbians and Jews. 

The newspaper continues to address " Everybody." The 
Revolutionary Council proclaims haughtily that it has 
taken over the government and that it is going to build up 
its workers', peasants' and soldiers' councils. Hungary 
becomes a Soviet Republic. The Revolutionary Council 
will start without delay a series of fundamental changes. 
It decrees the socialisation of big estates, wholesale busi- 
nesses, banks and means of communication. The land 
reform will not take the shape of dividing up the land into 
small holdings but of organising it into socialistic pro- 
ductive co-operative societies. The death penalty will be 
imposed on the bandits of the Counter-revolution as well 
as on the brigands who indulge in looting. It will organise 
a powerful proletarian army. It declares its intellectual 
and sentimental community with Soviet Russia. It offers 
an armed alliance to the Russian Proletariat. It sends 
brotherly greetings to the working masses of England, 
France, Italy and America, appealing to them not to 
tolerate any longer the looting expeditions of their capital- 
istic Governments against the Soviet Republic of Hungary. 
It offers an armed alliance to the workers and peasants of 
Bohemia, Roumania, Serbia and Croatia. It appeals to 
German Austria and Germany to ally themselves with 
Moscow . . . Long live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat I 
Long live the Hungarian Soviet Republic ! " 

I thought of the stories related by returning prisoners 
of war, the vague news of the Russian Revolution, the 
distant outlines of its nefarious actors and its beginnings 
at Petrograd. Russia's awful fate filled me with anguish 
and apprehension. 

This was the first ordinance of the Revolutionary 
Council : 

" MARTIAL LAW. Anybody resisting the orders of the 
Soviet Government or inciting to rebellion against it will 
be executed. Revolutionary tribunals will sit and try the 
criminals. Budapest, March 21st, 1919." 

I jumped up : I felt I should choke unless I did something. 

" That soldier down there is still walking up and down,'* 
said Mrs. Zsigmondy quietly. 


" It is lucky that the house has entrances on two streets. 
I shall go out by the other." 

A sharp wind, cleared by rain, was blowing on the boule- 
vard. The carriages seemed to have disappeared, and only 
motor-cars were rushing about, armed sailors standing on 
their steps and long-haired Jews, smoking big cigars, sitting 
inside. The shops were closed, and red posters flamed from 
their lowered shutters. 

" Long live the Soviet Republic allied to Russia ! " 

The wind blew the torn down posters of the Karolyi 
Government over the unswept pavements. Now and then 
hurrying pedestrians passed with bent heads, their eyes 
expressing stunned bewilderment. They could not under- 
stand what had happened. 

A chemist's shop was open : that was the only concession. 
My head was on fire and my chest torn with coughing. I 
went in. Many people were waiting for their prescriptions. 
Two people whispered to each other : " The resignation 
of the Government was simply a sham to frighten the 
Entente into re-establishing the old lines of demarcation." 
" Goodness no, my dear sir, there has been too much of 
Karolyi's cowardly pacificism. The Bolsheviks want to 
reconquer the whole of Hungary." A lean young man 
standing by began to gesticulate wildly : "If that is so, 
every Hungarian ought to stand by them." The 
other nodded : " We shall soon go home to Press- 
burg . . ." 

I was staggered. So they are still credulous, they still 
believe ! I went on sadly. When I reached the offices of 
the National Federation of Hungarian Women I was taken 
aback. There was nobody waiting there, the ante-room 
was empty. 

What a great thing we had been attempting, we women ! 
To stop a cart running down a slope ! We wanted to 
spread light and confidence and strength into the homes 
and people of Hungary. Was it to be all in vain, our 
sufferings, our labour ? 

As I opened the door into the inner office there was a 
sudden silence within, and the secretary rose from his table. 
Familiar faces turned to me, but they looked at me in 
silence, as if a question were on their lips, as if they expected 

Faithful, brave women ! In this moment I felt that 
after all everything was not lost. What we had sown could 
not be trampled down, the flames we had lit could not be 


A young girl looked in and nodded. " Soldiers are 
gathering in front of the house ..." 

We began to hurry. One gathered the list of names, 
another threw our appeals into a basket : " There is a 
corner of my house where they won't look for them, I shall 
hide them there." Another tied some documents together : 
" My husband will hide them somewhere in the National 

"I will take these to a decorator who has hidden many 
other dangerous documents," said the secretary. 

I wrote a farewell letter to my collaborators at the long 
table on which I had done so much work. " We won't 
dissolve and we won't cease to exist. Let everyone continue 
our work as best she can till we meet again. And if there 
is any trouble and anyone is persecuted, say that I am the 
cause of all." 

A girl leant against a cupboard and covered her eyes, 
while two others dragged a heavy basket through the door : 
it contained our office outfit. Suppressed sobs were audible 
near the wall underneath the high crucifix. We shook 
hands, no one said a word, and they let me go alone. But 
when I turned back from the door I saw they were all 
looking after me. 

The guardians of the house were some quiet, gentle nuns. 
I knocked at their door and the Mother Superior opened it 
as if she expected me. 

" I thank you for your hospitality and pray your 
forgiveness if our presence brings you misfortune." 

" Nothing happens but what God wills," answered the 
nun, with a resigned expression on her gentle face bordered 
with white veiling. 

Meanwhile the soldiers had retired from the vicinity of 
the house, so I, as usual, bent my way towards home. Only 
when I reached the beginning of my street-did I realize what 
I was doing. It was too late to turn back. Something 
attracted me painfully, as though my heart were attached 
to an invisible thread which was being drawn rapidly 
towards the further end of the street. There it was that 
I used to turn in other times when I felt weary. If only 
I could go there, just for the time necessary to open the 
door, look in, and nod. And the thread pulled me harder 
and harder, with ever increasing tension. I crossed the 
street. Just one more step to be nearer. Just one more f 
As I leant forward I put my hand to the wall of a strange 
house. For an instant I perceived our entrance and saw 
the windows shining above. I looked at each of them 


separately. The fifth was that of a room of many memor- 
able evenings, my mother's window. I bowed to it, as if 
in greeting. Someone quite near to me bowed at the same 
time. What was that ? It was only my shadow that 
followed my movements on the sunlit wall. Had anybody 
observed me ? How ridiculous I must have seemed ! With 
hastened steps, very fast, I returned to those who had given 
me shelter. 

Hours followed which have escaped my memory. News 
from the impenetrable tangle filtered through in the 
afternoon. The town has become more and more strange 
and incomprehensible : it has put its neck into the halter 
while talking of reconquering the country. Reliable news 
is now obtainable of Karolyi's resignation, and the pro- 
ceedings of the ministers' Council have been divulged by 
journalists. Before the meeting Karolyi had a long secret 
talk with Kunfi ; thence Kunfi proceeded directly to the 
prison, where he made formal compact with Bela Kun and 
the Communists in the name of the Social Democratic 
Party. The agreement was drawn up in writing. Mean* 
while, in the old House of Parliament, Pogany-Schwarz 
proclaimed the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. After that 
everything went quickly : barracks, arsenals and munition 
depots had already been given up to the Communists. 
Now the post office and the telegraph have come into their 

Kunfi obtained from Karolyi an order for the release 
of Bela Kun and his fellow prisoners ; he then drove to 
fetch them and they left their prison, as Hungary's all- 
powerful masters, to occupy the sleeping capital. 

Meanwhile Karolyi was sitting with his Countess and the 
former Prime Minister Berinkey in a room of the Prime- 
Ministerial Palace. The town was getting restless in the 
dark night. Wrapped in a blanket, Karolyi shivered and 
asked what was happening out there. When he was told 
that his proclamation had already been read in the Workers 5 ' 
Council he asked sleepily, " What proclamation ? " 

" Why, your resignation ! " 

"Impossible ! I scarcely remember what it contained, I was 
so hurried to sign it. Its publication must be prevented." 

An -official told him that he was too late. " It is already 
being printed by the papers and will appear in the morning. J> 

Karolyi stammered that he had no intention of with- 
drawing it, he only wanted to alter some passages. But 
the Communists had taken good care that by then it should 
have already been telephoned to Vienna. The wirea 


carried the news of Karolyi's resignation and his disgrace, 
and the document, as edited by Keri-Krammer, is preserved 
for the edification of a horrified posterity. 

This is not a tale, not a figment of imagination devised 
to make people's flesh creep. In the night of the 21st 
of March Karolyi stood with his narrow head bent to one 
side, his hollow chest heaving, in the room formerly occupied 
by Stephen Tisza, and before the cock crowed thrice . . . 

This morning someone met Karolyi and his wife walking 
on the embankment of the Danube. A big red carnation 
was glowing in his button-hole, and his wife wore a bright- 
red hat in the shape of a Phrygian cap and a red collar on 
her coat. Both looked happy and were laughing. " I am 
so pleased," Countess Karolyi said to a friend, " Hungary 
has never been so happy as it is now." At the Prime 
Minister's house, when taking leave, Karolyi expressed 
himself in the same sense. 

" It must not be forgotten," he declared, " that, though 
it may ruin a few individuals and now and then inflict hard- 
ships on certain people, it has to be borne in the interest 
of the community. Let us pour oil on the wheels of the 
new Government and let us do all in our power to make 
it a success, because that is the interest of the Hungarian 

They speak like that. Adorned ostentatiously with red 
flowers and a red hat wearing the hangman's colours 
these two human beings walk about after having achieved 
their work. One of their confidants, a Communist comrade, 
said of them : " Karolyi and his wife wanted a revolution 
that he might become the President of the Republic. Now 
they want Bolshevism that in the reaction which they hope 
will follow in its suit they may rule as autocrats." And 
the confidant grinned as he spoke. Is this the solution of 
their enigma ? I don't know. Those who say so have 
stirred the witches' cauldron with them. 

Suddenly I saw Bela Kun. I saw him as he had appeared 
to me on New Year's Eve at the barracks when he went to 
incite the soldiers. Karolyi let him, Pogdny helped him. 
Now they sit all together. And Szamuelly is with them, so 
are Kunfi, Landler and Bohm. They have not yet recov- 
ered from the first shock : their good fortune has surpassed 
their wildest expectations. Even in their dreams they had 
never hoped for so much. 

At Limanova and at Doberedo the Hungarians showed 
themselves obstinate heroes ; who would have thought 
that they would so easily bend their heads under the yoke ? 





The all-powerful Peoples' Commissaries are already moving. 
The people are crowding in front of the editorial offices of 
' The Red Newspaper,' where Szamuelly's belongings are 
being packed on a carriage. Bela Kun too is leaving the 
two rooms which he had hired with Russian money under 
the name of Dr. Sebestyen. Whither are they going ? 
Into the royal castle ? Into the Prime Minister's palace, 
or elsewhere ? They have the widest possible choice : 
everything is theirs. 

There was a knock at my door. One friend after another 
came in bringing news. Bela Kun has sent Communist 
agitators all over the country. They drive through the 
villages in motor-cars, beflagged in red, and shout : " The 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat has been proclaimed ! Kill 
the gentle-folk ! " A new order has been issued : it is 
forbidden to wear arms ; even revolvers have to be de- 
livered to the authorities. Only the ' reliable people,' Red 
soldiers, factory guards and workmen's levies, are allowed 
weapons. The shops remain closed : their goods are 
declared common property. The newspapers are to be 
cornmunised or prohibited. The buildings of the con- 
servative JBudapesti Hirlap have been occupied by the 
editorial staff of ' The Red Newspaper.' Armed men 
occupy the tables, and on the front of the building the 
Red flag floats. 

A message reached me from Elisabeth Kallay : she and 
her family have gone into the country and she asked me 
to come to them. But I shook my head; to-morrow I 
return to my mother. 

Many have left town. Those who could went by train, 
others fled by carriage, on foot, by whatever means they 
could manage. All traces of them disappear they simply 
exist no longer. One political party after another pro- 
nounces its extinction. The general officers and high 
officials have disappeared from the scene. Nobody 
attempts to raise a dam against the deluge, though 
yesterday a sluice-gate might have stopped it. 

October 31st has returned like a haunting spectre and 
we live the evil day again. Then the trap was baited with 
the device : ' Independent Hungary,' now it is : ' Territorial 
Integrity.' The whole thing is like the semi-conscious 
feeling during a nightmare that one has dreamt the same 
horrors before. 

Where are those who used to be always ready to give 
advice to the King in Schonbrunn and the halls of the 
Vienna Burg ? Why do they not advise our unfortunate 



nation now ? And where are now those who during the 
war were ready to order thousands ' over the top ' into 
the jaws of death whenever a single trench was in danger ? 
Where is my whole haughty race which used to go so 
proudly, singing a merry tune, to face death on foreign 
fields ? Why does it stand now, with glaring eyes, inactive, 
on our fields at home ? Since Karolyi's treason, four and 
a half months have passed. And this new danger finds us 
again without a leader, without organisation. Running 
shapes are in flight. Shadows are disappearing in the 
distance, shadows which once were thought the great 
realities of Hungary. And those who stay with us, in 
offices, in poor officers' quarters, are but hungry, ragged, 
grey little shadows with bended heads. 

Wherever the red hand of Bolshevism ha.s grasped the 
rod of power it has always raised a spirit of resistance. 
The streets of Moscow, Petrograd, Helsingfors, Berlin and 
Altona have run with the hot human blood of revolt 
Budapest alone has submitted in dizzy apathy. Is the 
hideous enchantment more powerful here than elsewhere ? 
Here, where in the time of Karolyi's revolution there were 
no more than two hundred and sixty thousand organised 
workers and even yesterday no more than five thousand 
Communists ? What has happened ? Austrian bugles 
have called on Hungarian troops for too many charges 
during the war. Those who might have saved us to-day 
are dead. 

I felt a desperate longing for action : to do something 
even if one had to die in the effort, to do something which 
would break the charm and free the energies benumbed by 
its humiliating spell ! I clenched my fists and shook my 
head in frenzy ; it cannot remain like this. To-morrrow 
to-morrow I shall go home. And wearily I shut my tired eyes. 

The hours dragged on so slowly that they never seemed 
to come to an end. Night was falling. The lamp was lit 
in the next room. The street door was locked ; . . . What 
was that ? The slamming of it resounded as if a lid had 
been banged violently on a giant box. And we are all 
sitting in the box and waiting helplessly for our fate to be 
decided out there. As long as the house doors were open 
the houses along the street seemed to hold each other by 
the hand, and if one had got into trouble the slightest 
movement would have been enough to warn the others. 
That is so no longer. When the doors are shut the house* 
release each other's hands and each is left to itself with its 
own misfortune. 


Out there in the dark threatening streets the stolen 
motors are racing to and fro without a stop, carrying 
treacherous plans, hostile orders, all over the town. And 
behind the doors no one is safe until these plans and orders 
have decided his fate. 

It was just before midnight when the bell rang in the 
ante-room. Its sound choked the breath in our throats. 
Zsigmondy went out to open the door. It was all right : 
only my brother Bela had sent me a message not to go out 
to-morrow till he had spoken to me. 

Then we retired for a restless sleep. A lamp was burning 
on the table of the night nursery ; my bed was made, but 
I sat for a long time on its edge, waiting like a patient in 
the surgeon's waiting room. There was a smell of printer's 
ink somewhere : if only one could read in these times, I 
thought. There was a newspaper on the table. No, not 
that. I turned from it in disgust. I wanted to escape 
the present. 

How often have I found consolation in books during sad 
hours ! But is there a book that could lull the present 
sorrows to rest ? I remembered having read Faust during 
a great storm at sea till the night had passed, and during 
an evil night of the war my mother and I had read Toldi 
till the morning came. I wondered if to-day the armed 
knight could carry me off with him as he rides to Buda to 
fight a last fight for Hungary's honour, to kiss faithfully 
great King Louis's hand ? I shook my head. Was there 
nothing ? Hamlet, with visionary raving eyes, came and 
went, but did not arrest me. Niels Lyne and The Idiot, 
and rusty, armoured Don Quixote. 

A patrol passed under the window. A soldier pulled his 
bayonet over a corrugated shutter as if sharpening it for 
some future victim. The others laughed, then they went 
on. Silence followed, the silence of a huge wicked town 
that gapes. 

How long will it last ? Why can I not think of anything 
else ? If I were at home now I would count my books to 
pass the time. One, two, three ... I imagined myself 
taking an old volume from the shelf. Kant's Critique of 
Pure Reason. What good is that ? At the other end of 
my bookcase there is another book in a parchment binding 
as smooth and cool as ivory : the Iliad. I thought of it 
I had bought it in Siena, a long time ago. Bright, great 
heroes, Homeric songs, would mean nothing to me now. 
And Dante. No, I do not want him. His Inferno knows 
nought of the tortures we endure. 


The horn of a solitary motor resounded through the night, 
and volleys were fired in the direction of the barracks. 
Quietly, so as to make no noise, I began to walk up and 
down in the nursery. There were books lying about among 
the toys ; picture-books, coloured animals, big, funny 
alphabets. I looked at several ; and thus a much used, 
shabby story book came into my hand. 

I sat back on the edge of the bed, the book open. It 
brought to me the memory of holidays, old Sundays, mild 
childish illnesses . . . Someone is reassuring me, kisses me, 
hushes me and reads in a subdued voice at my bedside, 
strokes the hair from my forehead . . . The pages turn 
quickly. And where neither Goethe nor Arany nor Dante 
nor Kant could succeed in carrying away my thoughts this 
revolutionary night, the eternal fairy-tale, that consoler 
of children, of sick and of suffering, triumphed. 


March 23rd. 

ONE gets the impression that things have been like this 
for ever so long, though it all started only the day before 
yesterday. Good Friday was just two days ago. To-day 
is Sunday but not Easter. The resurrection has failed 
and the grave-diggers sit grinning on the tomb. 

In some churches the bells were ringing, in others the 
people had gone to Mass, my brother's message kept me at 
home. Again there was a newspaper lying on the table. 
In huge black letters Bela Kun's proclamation to the 
proletariats of the world was glaring at me : "To 
Everybody ! " It was revolutionary incendiarism, inciting 
hatred. In their old-fashioned way the church bells 
appealed above the roofs for love and good-will. Mean- 
while the wireless had spread broadcast the news of 
Hungary's shame and misfortune. And from Moscow 
there came the triumphant answer. It is published in 
The People's Voice : 

" This afternoon at five o'clock the Hungarian Soviet 
Republic got into wireless communication with the Russian 
Soviet. The Hungarian Soviet called Comrade Lenin to 
the apparatus. Twenty minutes later Moscow answered : 
' Lenin speaking. Request Comrade Bela Kun should 
come t& wireless station.' But Bela Kun was at the 
meeting of the People's Commissaries, so another comrade 
answered from the wireless station : ' Last night the 
Hungarian Proletariat seized all powers, established the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and greets you as the 
leader of the International Proletariat. The Social 
Democratic Party has adopted the Communist point of 
view and the two parties have united. We call ourselves 
the Hungarian Socialist Party. We ask for instructions 
in this matter. Bela Kun "is Commissary for Foreign 
Affairs. The Hungarian Soviet offers the Russian Soviet 
a defensive and offensive alliance. Fully armed, we turn 
against all the enemies of the Proletariat and ask for 
information concerning the military situation.' ' 

At nine in the evening Moscow called again. 

" Lenin speaking . . . Hearty greetings to the Hungarian 
Soviet's Proletarian Government, in particular to Comrade 



Bela Kun. I have just communicated your message to 
the Congress of the Communist Party of Bolshevik Russia. 
Enormous enthusiasm ... we will send a report on the 
military situation as soon .as possible ... A permanent 
wireless connection between Budapest and Moscow is 
absolutely necessary. With Communist greetings, Lenin." 

' Lenin speaking ' . . . How terrible these two words 
sound ; how terrible the deathly silence that follows them 1 
' Lenin speaking ' . . . So he is there now, with his bald 
head bent sideways, his enigmatic smile frozen 011 his broad 
mouth, his Kalmuk eyes open wide and his nostrils 
expanded as though he smelt blood. ' Lenin speaking ' 
. . . And Trotsky is there too, his bestial, cruel face 
peering over us ; his mouth broadens and the red beard 
on his chin shakes. All the other Russian Jewish tyrants 
are there too, and they wave their bloody hands. They 
may give their orders ; their lieutenants will obey, and 
we shall live or die according to their good pleasure and 

My brother Bela came into the room and I learned from 
him that I could not go home any more. In hasty excited 
sentences he told me that yesterday evening when he had 
gone to see our mother the glaring lamps of a big car had 
suddenly lit up the dark street. It stopped in front of the 
next house, though this has no entrance from our street. 
Three men dismounted from the car and kept our street 
door under observation. 

" Mother's housekeeper has been talking to them this 
afternoon, probably to inform them that you have left. 
She had scarcely returned when the car pulled up before 
our door and the men asked for you. They wanted to come 
up to our flat. They insisted, affirming that they came 
from the police, and had to see you personally. The 
concierge told them that you had left town and banged 
the door in their faces. The car, however, remained where 
it was and kept the house under observation. The men 
only left at dawn, hoping to see you return." 

While he told me all this I had a feeling as though an 
ugly hand were groping for me in the dark, trying to get 
hold of me, but missing me, passing beside me. It was 
the hand of Lenin. 

My brother said, following up his own thoughts : " You 
cannot remain with the Zsigmondys. It is impossible for 
you to go home. They informed the concierge that they 
would come and fetch you to-day." 

My mother's face appeared before me, a haunted 


expression in her blue eyes. It would be terrible for her 
to see me arrested. What was I to do ? I had sent a 
message to Count Stephen Bethlen this morning, but he 
had already left home. Everybody for whom I send has 
disappeared. The threads are broken. How shall I start ? 
Left to themselves, what can women do at a time like this ? 

I had not noticed that the Secretary of the Women's 
Union had entered. He told me that in a few days it would 
be impossible to travel without a permit and advised me 
to leave town while it w r as still possible. The Kallays had 
been prevented by the crowds at the station from leaving 
by train to-day, but would start to-morrow, and invited 
me to go with them. 

I hesitated ; but, after all, it was only a question of a 
few days. So as soon as I was alone I wrote to my mother 
and told her I should leave next day, though I did not yet 
know my destination, and asked her to spend the evening 
with me. 

Hours have never passed so slowly. When it was quite 
dark I escaped from the house. A cold wind blew through 
the empty streets. The tired town had once more resigned 
itself to its fate and now suffered in silence ; the posters 
alone spoke ; huge sheets covered the walls. The same 
words everywhere : Proletariat . . . Dictatorship . . . 
Proletariat . . . The broken street lamps had not been 
repaired, and the pavement was covered with refuse : for 
days the streets have not been swept. 

The* 1 staircase was in darkness. A single lamp was 
burning in my sister's sitting-room. And there, in the dim 
light, I saw my mother again. I was shocked by her 
appearance : she seemed to have become shorter since we 
had parted and her face was much thinner. Did she fret 
for me ? Was I the cause of this change ? Never in my 
life did I feel so moved in her presence as then. 

And yet she seemed quite calm, and on one occasion she 
even laughed, with her own hearty laughter. We talked 
of all sorts of things, except the fact that I should no longer 
be with them on the morrow. The children seemed quite 
happy, chattering among themselves in a corner. The 
hours passed so happily for me that now and then I had 
the illusion that the old times had returned for a moment 
before disappearing for ever. 

One or the other would say : "At most it can last a week 
or two." Or again : " Colonel Vyx has been locked up 
and an English officer has been assaulted in the street. 
Insults of this kind will surely not be taken lying down by 


the Great Powers. It is impossible that the Entente should 
suffer the establishment of Bolshevism in Hungary. She 
knew how to send ultimatums demanding lines of demarca- 
tion, so that the Roumanians and her other friends could 
loot at leisure, now she is sure to display more energy when 
her own interests are at stake." 

" Let us put no hope in anybody but ourselves," said 
my brother-in-law. ".It was the Entente who brought us 
to this." 

One of my nephews said : " That is the reason why so 
many people are rather pleased that the Communists 
display hostility to the Entente. Who knows, perhaps 
our territorial integrity ..." 

" Don't expect any good from these people," I inter- 
rupted. " Among the apostles of Communism there may 
be some idealists, but those who apply it practically are 
all scoundrels. It is impossible, man cannot withstand 

Suddenly someone asked if I had decided where I was 
going to. " Should I accept the Kallay's invitation, or 
should I attempt to get across the river Ipoly to Pressburg 
and thence into foreign territory ? 

" Do the Kallays realise what this invitation means in 
these days ? " 

" You must not accept it otherwise," my mother said. 

" Wherever you go, you must mislead those who are 
after you," said my brother-in-law. " Write a letter and 
have it posted in another part of the country." 

My mother rose : " It is time to go." 

My heart stopped beating. But she held her head high 
and there were no tears in her eyes. Only when leading her 
down the stairs did I feel that she leaned more heavily on 
me than she used to. Who will lead her when I am gone ? 
My nephew, Alexander Eperjessy, took her home. I 
asked him to occupy my room and stay with my mother, 
otherwise I should not be able to tear myself away. 

" Don't worry about me," mother said ; " and don't 
you come back till you can do so openly and without 

I have been with her almost daily as long as I can 
remember, yet it was only this evening that I really learned 
to appreciate her. She had never asked for anything and 
yet was always ready to give. She never spoke of herself 
and listened to everybody. She had no words of endear- 
ment, she kissed vaguely and her arms were rarely 
caressing. She was never" demonstrative, the seat of her 


affections was her heart and not her lips. And while we 
were walking side by side through the dark night on our 
short, sad road, I felt that if this heart were one day to 
stop, then mine would throb but haltingly ever after. 

We had passed the house which had given me shelter. 
I thought my mother had not noticed it, being accustomed 
to go on towards home. But suddenly she stopped, and, 
as was her wont on rare occasions, she drew my head to 
her quickly and gave me a kiss which went half into the air. 

" Now, my dear, God bless you ! " 

I tried to find her hand but failed. She had already 
left me and I could no longer see her in the dark. I could 
only hear her step in the empty street. That quaint, dear 
step, which sounded as if she dragged one of her feet a 
little. Then that ceased too. Silence, empty silence, 
dominated the night. Silently I wept, and the world 
disappeared in my tears. 

March 24fli. 

DAWN. The dawn rose with a dull greyness over the 
ill-fated city, as though the light had risen from the mire. 
Morning was in sole possession of the dirty unswept streets. 
I leant far out of the window, and in the distance I noticed 
two soldiers staggering painfully along. One of the 
achievements of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat : 
prohibition of alcohol ! 

As I turned back I caught sight of my travelling bag, 
My mother had packed it yesterday and had smuggled it 
out of the house without the spying servant observing 
them. I sat down by it and waited. After a time the 
house awoke and the time passed more quickly. I do not 
remember all that followed : Zsigmondy changed my 
money, and I noticed how little I had one thousand six 
hundred crowns. I counted it over again, but that did 
not make it more. My mother had wanted to give me 
some, but it had all come so unexpectedly that we had 
onlv very little money in the house, and she would need 
that little. 

I should have liked to put back the clock, but there was 
the cab waiting in the street and they were carrying my 
bag down the stairs. As I waved my hand from the 
corridor Mrs. Zsigmondy leant out of the door which had 
opened to me so hospitably and smiled through her tears. 

When I was in the carriage it suddenly occurred to me 
that perhaps I ought not to have accepted Zsigmondy's 


offer to come with me to the station : he might get into 
trouble ; but he insisted so simply and heartily that I could 
say no more. 

From behind the clouds a pale sun lit up the gloomy 
town. All the shops were closed, and the tiny red flags 
adorning the buildings fluttered in an icy wind. Careworn 
faces passed rapidly before the window of the rattling cab. 
A black crowd had gathered on the pavement in front of 
a pork-butcher's shop, the signboard of which advertised 
luscious hams and appetising sausages, looking now like 
the impossibilities of a prehistoric age. But the shop 
window was absolutely empty. Further on a baker's shop 
displayed a wooden sign on which were painted beautiful 
loaves and rolls. This, too, gave the impression of a 
diagram in a museum, showing things of the past ; it made 
one feel suddenly hungry. Posters everywhere, innumer- 
able red posters. But there were no goods in the shops, 
and disappointed women slunk along the walls. 

" The Red Newspaper ! " howled a tiny urchin. " The 
Young Proletarian ! " And he waved the papers in the 
air. Few passers-by bought any, but went on with their 
heads drawn between their shoulders as if they expected 
blows. Is this the town of the glorious revolution, this 
sad mass of dirty, frightened buildings standing amidst 
piles of dustbins filled to the brim ? Is this the rapturous 
achievement for the sake of which Hungary had to perish 
a town where the factories have stopped, the shops are 
closed and all work has ceased ? A town where all and 
everybody have but one of two thoughts : either " We 
have lost everything," or " Now everything is ours ! " 

The appearance of the principal railway station was like 
a nightmare. Its walls were covered with obscene drawings 
and dirty scribblings ; it had not been swept, and sawdust 
had been strewn over the mud. Machine-guns were stand- 
ing in the ankle-deep dirt, greasy pieces of paper were flying 
about, unnameable filth covered the flagstones and oozed 
beneath the people's feet. A rough, impatient crowd 
pushed and jostled, and the air was pervaded by an 
insufferable stench. 

While Zsigmondy took my ticket I looked at the people. 
Many of them kept their eyes to the ground as if they 
wanted to hide these were in flight. Some swore 
obscenely. A sailor was examining luggage at the entrance, 
and rewarded himself for his trouble by continually putting 
things from them into his pocket. At a distance I saw 
Elisabeth Kallay. She saw me too, but we did not take 


any notice of each other. Suddenly I found my sister 
Mary standing by my side. She was very pale and only 
her eyes greeted me. The Secretary of the Women's 
Union came towards me : " The trip won't last long and 
I shall bring you news ! " 

I passed the newspaper stall. Nothing but ' Red 
Newspapers,' ' The People's Voice,' ' The Young Prole- 
tarian,' and the little red and blue volumes of ' The 
Workmen's Library.' In the crowd I managed to embrace 
my sister. Then, " God bless you, Zsigmondy ! " 

Now I was on the platform. I had to walk a good 
distance before I shrank into the corner of my compart- 
ment. The train was a long time in starting, and human 
shapes were hurrying down the corridor. A fat man tore 
the door open and looked inside as if searching for somebody. 
Then I, too, looked on the ground like those anxious to hide. 

Suddenly the columns before the window slowly began to 
move. Then the shape of goods sheds passed slowly by. 
The wheels rattled over the points. Then the compartment 
became lighter : we had reached the open track. And 
as the train gathered speed I knew that I had left the town, 
with its People's Commissaries, its police, its prisons, behind 
me. I was free ! 

For a moment I realised this, then again my consciousness 
became dimmed and a pleasant fatigue overcame me. 
From the window I watched the telegraph wires rise, then 
cam^.a post and jerked them down, then they rose again 
till the next post came. I turned to look at my fellow 
travellers. Every seat was occupied. In one sat an 
officer whose insignia of rank had been torn from his collar, 
leaving the marks of three stars. His field-gray cavalry 
cap was ornamented with a red rosette. As soon as 
Budapest was left behind us he took his cap off and threw 
the rosette out of the window. An old lady looked on in 
alarm and drew away from him : her husband wore the 
' red man ' ostentatiously in his button-hole. Both seemed 
scared. Opposite sat a well-dressed man, who buried his 
face deeply in a book, using it as a screen. I looked at it : 
The Workmen's Library. On the title-page was the drawing 
of a book from the pages of which sprang a naked, unkempt 
workman, holding a burning lamp in his hand. This lamp, 
I suppose, represented the light spread by the contents of 
the book. I strained my eyes to catch the title : it ran 
" The Principles of Communism, by Frederick Engels. 
Translated by Ernest Garami." 

Why read it now ? I thought. Why did he not read it 


long ago ? Why have not all those who suffer to-day read 
it long ago ? It was there, always, in their midst. Its 
principles were set out in a thousand publications, in a 
thousand minds. These little books have been doing their 
work for a long time, and their wrappers were pink only 
because for the time being they did not dare to demonstrate 
outwardly that they were red. 

" The slave is sold once for all. The proletarian has to 
sell himself every day, every hour . . . The slave frees 
himself if he abolishes the institution of slavery. The 
proletarian can only free himself by completely destroying 
private property. This cannot be achieved by any other 
means than by a revolution." And in the Socialist 
revolution there is an end to the family, the country, and 

I stared at the stranger. Why did he want to read 
about these things now ? They have been proclaimed 
aloud for tens of years. But what had been done in 
Hungary to counteract them ? Has anybody been at work 
among the people contradicting them ? Has anyone 
founded a popular library to proclaim the tenets of Christ, 
the significance of country and family, the primary con- 
ditions of human society, with similar persistence among 
the people ? The Communists worked hard. They fixed 
their goal and with every action, every word, every letter, 
strove to achieve domination. Meanwhile Magyardom let 
the decades pass passively, inactively, and now that the 
earth has given way under its feet it has lost its head. 

The alarmed fellow-traveller went on reading his book, 
hastily turning page after page. I should have liked to 
tell him that it was no good hurrying now he was too late. 

Just then a man stopped in the entrance of OIL.* compart- 
ment, a violin in his grimy black hand. His low forehead 
was surrounded by curling oriental black hair, his eyes were 
bloodshot, and one of his nostrils was missing, as though 
it had been gnawed away by some animal. He pressed 
his fiddle under his bristly blue chin, a smile began to 
spread over his horrible syphilitic face, and with a slow 
rhythm the bow passed over the chords. His body swayed 
to and fro with the tune, and each movement seemed to 
raise a filthy stench in the compartment. The tune and 
the musician became one, and above the rattling of the 
train sounded the strains of the ' Internationale.' 

" I'll play it again if anybody wants to learn it," he said, 
as he finished, and looked round with a sly, aggressive look. 
But nobody answered. Only the man with the ' red man ' 


in his button-hole jumped up nervously and waved a 
twenty-crown bank-note in his hand. The filthy black 
hands seized it eagerly and disappeared. Then we heard 
the fiddle whining in the next compartment : the Jew- 
Gipsy was teaching the new tune to the people. 

" If anybody wants to learn it . . ." 

Aszod ! . . . The train stopped. I had often heard that 
after Budapest Aszod had been the place where the 
Communists had met with the greatest measure of success. 
I looked out of the window. Over the Reformatory a huge 
red flag was flying, and a similar flag was hoisted over 
the station. A crowd gathered in front of one of the 
carriages, and some people who were late came tearing 
along and took their hats off. A fat little man with Semitic 
features and a red rosette descended from a reserved 
compartment. He might have been a broker, but now 
he was addressed as " Comrade on a Political Mission." 
He was received by a deputation and people cringed before 
him. I noticed that the crowd was composed of two types 
only : the impudent adventurer and the frightened coward, 
but presently others joined them. Someone said they were 
agitators from Budapest and had come with armed soldiers. 
Propaganda and terror the two means of government 
of the Communists. The fiddler was one of them : he, too, 
was an agitator. 

I passed through the festive crowd unobserved, they 
bein^Jboo busy to pay any heed to the travellers. Far out 
beyond the platform a dilapidated little local train was 
smoking. Mrs. Kdllay and her two daughters were heading 
for it, so I followed them. At last we dared to get into the 
same compartment. We even exchanged a few words, and 
the further we got from the Red town the freer we felt. 

Elisabeth Kallay whispered to me that she was hiding 
her diadem in her dress, and Lenke furtively produced an 
old revolver from under her coat. We could not help 
laughing. Other passengers also seemed to have their 
secrets, for many of them were abnormally corpulent and 
sat uncomfortably on their seats. Everybody was saving 
whatever he could, and nowadays only that which one can 
carry on one's person can be said to belong to one. 

The air blowing in through the window was pure and 
sharp, and beyond the line were lush meadows, deep, 
swampy fields, budding trees, white cottages, roads, carts 
and peasants. Here everything seemed to be going on as 
usual, as if nothing had happened. The mud of the country 
roads was cleaner than that on the asphalt of the town. 


We had left the flat country of the disgraced capital and 
presently the hillocks of Nograd came to meet us under 
the evening sky, the bare, red-brown woods and white 
villages on the banks of the Galga forming the landscape. 

A landau was waiting for us behind the station. The 
coachman took off his hat respectfully and spoke to us 
just as in the old days. How strange it seemed ! Springless 
carts rattled down the road and the elderly men in them 
doffed their hats : had not they yet been told that they 
were in duty bound to hate those who had always protected 
them ? A church bell pealed somewhere on the top of a 
hill, and the light of a bright fire streamed out of the door 
of a house. A woman stood within its beams and made 
the sign of the Cross. She did not yet know that the new 
power had declared war on God. 

Now the road goes up a hill, the wheels crunch on fine 
gravel, a gate opens between the trees, and a sudden light 
flares up in the night. We have reached the Kallays' 
turretted castle. 

In a few minutes we are all sitting together in a well 
heated room. A wide garden surrounds the house, the 
night surrounds the garden. And the world is far away, 
somewhere beyond. 

Berczel. March 27ih, 1919. 

DAYS have passed since my arrival, yet I do not think 
that I shall ever forget the first morning when I awoke here. 
I seemed to be floating in a pure ocean of absolute silence. 
Then, quite suddenly and unexpectedly, a small voice fell 
from above into the ocean of silence. After the threatening 
hum of the revolution in the city, the wild howling, the 
panting hatred and the ominous nightly tramplings, there 
was such beauty in this voice that I remember being 
enraptured in the semi-consciousness of waking. 

A small bird was sitting on a twig before my window. 
Instead of the abyss of human infernos, of narrow streets 
and worn dark walls, my eyes lighted on a twig and a bird, 
and I wept out of sheer gratitude that such things still 
existed. I should have liked to gather in my hands every tiny 
particle of the sound so that I might send it to those who 
remained prisoners among the stones of that accursed city. 

How different is life here ! It is like a fairy-tale related 
to soothe children at bed-time ... It is a quiet village. 
On the hillock can be seen the bell tower and the shingled 
roof of the church. Below, at its foot, are small cottages 




and small farmyards. People go to bed early in the 
evening : only now and then is a window lit up. The cow 
bells ring, a dog barks somewhere. And horror does not 
creep through the night, worry does not sit on the threshold 
of the morn, threatening the dread shadow of events to 
come. To-day is like yesterday and to-morrow bears no 
different aspect. Sometimes I fear that conscience has died 
of exhaustion within me. A clouded glass screen has risen 
between me and the world. Even the village seems to be 
beyond the screen and there is nothing on this side of it 
but a castle, a wide park, and narrow, useless little paths 
on which the past treads undisturbed. These are set with 
white seats which have not been provided for fatigue. 
Beds of flowers which only exist in order to be beautiful, 
dark violets, without a purpose but just to flower. 

A white lace hat appears and disappears in the cool 
sunshine : the widow of Benjamin Kallay passes under 
my window. Her husband, the most brilliant Finance 
Minister of .Francis Joseph's reign, the inspiring spirit of 
the Monarchy's Eastern policy, the governor of Bosnia 
and Herzegovina, had been a scholar and a historian. The 
old lady had been the uncrowned queen of the small south- 
ern provinces and one of the most beautiful women of the 
receptions at the Vienna Burg. Now she discusses with 
the bailiff the spring sowings, though when the harvest 
comes they may no longer be hers. For that matter, are 
the house and gardens still her own ? Everything is 
uncerftfin. She also worries about a son and a daughter. 
Elisabeth Kallay had been the one Hungarian maid of 
honour of Queen Zita, accordingly the Communists eye her 
with distrust. Frederick Kallay is an aide-de-camp to 
the Archduke Joseph and had left Budapest with him. She 
has had no news since then. " Good God, what are we 
coming to ? " 

When she says this her two daughters rise in revolt : 
they will have no despondency. I like to hear them speak : 
they voice the fine, strong vitality of my race : 

" And you, why are you always staring into the air ? " 
Elisabeth has put her hand on my shoulder. " Instead of 
moping like this you had better go and commit your 
thoughts and sorrows to paper." 

" I have taken a good many notes. When I left I asked 
my young nephew to keep them for me. But what's the 
good of going on with them ? " 

Elisabeth Kallay, however, urged me on : " Go on 
writing your diary ; it will come in useful some day." 


Thus one evening, when I was left to myself, I took up 
my pen and looked back on the past days and gathered 
fading memories. It is a practice, however, that makes 
things both easier and harder. This diary affords the 
relief of self -confession, but it also tortures me by compelling 
me to live the past over again. And who shall say if 
I shall ever reach the end ? 

I looked up from my writing : Lenke Kdllay appeared 
at my window, holding her head high. She brought news, 
good news. Elisabeth said : " Let no one dare to speak 
of evil tidings." 

Stephen Bethlen is in Vienna and has petitioned the 
Powers through the French High Commissioner, M. Alize, 
for help against Bolshevism. The Entente is certain to 
intervene and will send troops to checkmate the Proletarian 
Dictators. Thirty thousand French soldiers have embarked 
at Marseilles, with General Petain in command. 

" It won't continue like this much longer, We shall get 
on our legs again presently." 

Did they say it, or did I ? We have said it for a thousand 
years and when the men grew tired of saying it the women 
said it. They said it during the Tartar invasion, after the 
defeat at Mohacs. To-day we say it again, though every- 
thing has collapsed, though we have been robbed of our 
all and are the most unfortunate people on earth. 

Yet we still trust and have faith. Why ? Nobody 
knows. Yet how often have I felt in me that faith which 
is stronger than our fate, and how often have I noticed it 
flaming up in others ! What is it ? The mysterious desire 
for existence ? Or is it more than that, is it the sub- 
conscious knowledge of our vitality ? 

It is like the belief in the miraculous deer an old legend 
which is ever present in the Hungarian mind in time of 
trouble. It tells how among the endless swamps of Maeotis, 
at the beginning of time, a white deer with shining antlers 
appeared to two brothers who were lost in the morass. 
The divine deer lured them on and guided them over 
invisible tracks. And to this day, whenever we fall in the 
morass the miraculous animal appears, gleaming white and 
leaping lightly across the bog, and guiding us along invisible 
tracks towards the future. 

Things can't remain like this : we shall get on our legs 
again presently. The Miraculous Deer is leading us. 


March 28th. 

THE folding doors of the big drawing-room on the first 
floor open quietly, and in the room beyond books with gilt 
backings are set among flowers. The fire is already burning 
brightly in the porcelain stove in the dining-room, whilst 
above the red-shaded lamp the ceiling appears heavy and 
dark. Between the windows stands a chest that once 
belonged to Imre Thokoly : the walls are ornamented with 
Oriental dishes and old Chinese plates . . . The footman 
stands stiff in his black dress coat : his white shirt gleams, 
and his hands holding the dish are gloved in white. Little 
silver buttons glitter on the page's jacket. 

My thoughts fly homeward : in the villages there is still 
a sense of home, which has long since departed from the 
towns. I thought of the past winter, the closed shops, the 
scanty tables. If only I could give that sense of home to 
somebody . . . And again I feel the glass screen raised 
between myself and reality. 

Mrs. Benjamin Kallay, dressed in white silk, presides 
over the table. Her head is held up a trifle haughtily ; 
her sharp profile is crowned with snow-white hair, and her 
full chin disappears in lace. Somehow she reminds me of a 
portrait of Louis XV. . . . Presently she nods and rises : 
her gait is solemn and slow : the wings of the door open 
before her and we follow her into the drawing-room. 

Outside, drums are being beaten in the village, and now 
and then a scrap of the crier's announcement reaches our 
ears. ^ 

" The revolutionary council . . . Revolutionary tribunals 
. . . the president and two members . . . prosecuting 
commissary . . . clerk of the court ... No restrictions 
whatever . . . any hour of the day ... in the open . . . 
death sentence . . . carried out without delay ..." 

I had a curious impression that the words seemed to have 
little connection with what was said : ' Lenin speaking . . .' 
Nobody actually said that, yet I seemed to hear those 
two words as a sort of refrain. 

The drumming went on : 

" False reports . . . revolutionary tribunal . . . executed 
. . . The Revolutionary Council is abolished ... In the 
Soviet republic all rank, title and nobility are abolished ..." 

At this moment the footman brought the coffee on a 
silver tray : " Is it your Excellency's pleasure that coffee 
be served here ? " 

How incongruous it all seemed ! The huge room, the 
unreal continuation of the old aristocratic life. Is it real, 


or is it a mirage ? The snow- white lady, her head erect, 
among her lace, sitting in an arm-chair. Her two daughters, 
one leaning gracefully over her embroidery, the other turn- 
ing the leaves of a book. The huge Venetian glass 
chandelier, which once shone over Maria Theresa, spreads 
a gentle light. On the wall, between two pastels repre- 
senting children, the Empire clock of gilded wood ticks 
slowly, and its ticking sounds as if ripe corn were being 
rubbed together. Slowly life is passing before our eyes, a 
grain of life with every moment that departs beyond recall. 
The mirage is still there. Nothing is altered. But 
outside, the filthy tide is rising, spreads and rolls onwards 
from the Red town, covers the fields, touches the villages, 
laps at the walls of the cottages. It comes nearer and 
nearer ; and the wind which it raises drives before it 
phantoms which rush by and in their flight glare in through 
the windows. Elsewhere it is different. The glitter of 
the peasant's scythe menaces the castle. The despoiled 
landlords have to flee or become the bailiffs of Bela Kun's 
' Co-operatives of Production ' on their own estates. Our 
fate is coming without doubt. But still, here in the great 
drawing-room, life has not yet altered. These people 
round me are just waiting for whatever is to come, and 
whether death or reprieve be their destiny, they are 
faithful to the blood which is in them. 


March 29th. 

COMMUNISTS from Aszod have arrived in the village. The 
glass screen between myself and reality has suddenly 
cracked. The agitators dragged a table in front of the 
town hall, climbed on it and addressed the crowd. When 
we asked the coachman what had happened, he looked 
down and gave an embarrassed, evasive answer : 

" They are going to stay till to-morrow . . ." 

These Communists boasted that the workmen of the 
aeroplane works at Aszod had got the town in their power 
and that the directorate had had the lord of Iklad, Count 
Raday, and his wife, arrested. 

The news has only just reached us. When the Raday s 
heard of the proclamation of the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat they wanted to go to Budapest with the manager 
of the aeroplane works. But the Communists of Aszod 
were quicker than they. They closed the barriers, and 
the Lord Lieutenant of the county and his wife, who had 
nursed the wounded in the hospital of Aszod during the 
war, were escorted back by armed Red soldiers, some of 
whom she had herself nursed back to life. They locked 
the Gountess up in the Reformatory, the Count and the 
manager they put up against the wall. A firing squad waa 
drawn up : a lieutenant enquired if all was ready. At the 
last moment they let them go. It was all done for amuse- 
ment, to give them a good fright. One often hears of such 
things nowadays ; the novelty and strangeness of it are 
wearing off. 

Countess Raday did not know that her husband was 
still alive until he returned to her. 

But this villainy was relieved by a generous action. 
When the people of Iklad heard what had been done to 
their landlord and benefactor, they rose and armed them- 
selves with scythes, and went to his rescue, but before they 
reached Aszod the prisoners had been sent to Budapest. 
For a long time this band of armed peasants threatened the 
Reformatory. Unfortunately not every village is like 
Iklad and not all landlords like Count Raday. 

Other news reached us too, uncertainly and stealthily, 
from castles and towns. Then the first newspapers came 



from the capital : the great day they had prepared and 
announced had at last dawned, and we shrank from its 
contact. With what a voice was it proclaimed ! Our 
language had never yet been prostituted in this way, their 
alien press uses our tongue to torture us. It spits on our 
past with grinning contempt and drags in the mire 
everything that might still promise a better future. The 
triumph of the revolution howls from its pages. Vulgar 
brutalities, foaming, abject hatred, are enclosed in the 
wrappings of world-saving theories. 

The only paper of the Counter-revolution has been 
suppressed : the conservative Budapesti Hirlap has been 
strangled and the subscribers sent ' The Red Newspaper.' 
The newspapers which have been allowed to continue their 
existence approve, fawn, incite and lend their old reputation 
to facilitate the conquest of the groping, tottering country- 
side. Unsuspecting people absorb the poison from the 
papers to which they have been accustomed. Ideas become 
confused ; even the honest lose their bearings. The papers 
propagate their news as ordered by the head of the 
Bolshevist press -directorate a Jew. 

If ever the time comes to call to account this soul-killing, 
defeatist, alien press, which revelled over the revolution, 
over Kdrolyi, the capitulation, the Republic, the foreign 
occupation, and now lauds Be"la Kun and Bolshevism ; 
should ever that time come, I can imagine the defence : 
'. . . the terror, . . . brutal force . . .' But why do the 
papers carry on ? Why do they not stop publication ? 
The press-dictator elucidates this point when he declares 
proudly," the Free Union of Journalists played an important 
role in the preparation and realisation of the political 
revolution in October and the social upheaval of to-day." 
These mouthpieces of Hungarian public opinion have for 
the last few decades been exclusively Jews. 

Though I shudder with disgust yet I cannot resist the 
temptation of taking the newspaper into my hand, and I 
read ' The People's Voice ' of March 25th : 

" The work has begun . . . The courage to demolish, the 
relentlessness of destruction and the unfaltering determina- 
tion to rebuild, these are the spiritual instruments by 
which the Proletarian State must be established and its 
socialism must be realised." 

What can be their physical instruments when destruction 
ia only a spiritual aid ? I read on : " Lenin predicts 
victory in the near future 1 ... The Russian Red 
army is victorious on the Galician frontier, and the enemy 


is in flight. The victory surpasses all hopes . . . The 
position of the Imperialist Government in England is 
shaken. Hungarian events have caused the downfall of 
Clemenceau . . . Serbian imperialism is on the verge of 
complete collapse. The southern counties have accepted 
the principle of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. There 
are signs of disruption in Serbia. The Proletariat is 
preparing for the final battle." 

The papers lie in a heap, and I pick them up at random : 
" The Revolutionary Government has decided to raise a 
Red army. It has been decided to change the names of 
the barracks from that of imperialist kings and militarist 
generals. In future they will bear the names of Lenin, 
Marx, Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg ..." 

A Red army instead of the national army. Instead of 
Francis Joseph and Maria-Theresa barracks we shall have 
Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg barracks. 

" Austria has recognised the Hungarian Soviet Republic 
and has accredited the envoys of Bela Kun. . . . Two 
new Soviet Republics : On the 28th a Soviet Republic was 
proclaimed in Wiener- Neustadt. In Chotin the Bessarabian 
Soviet Republic has been proclaimed. At the elections for 
the Workers' Councils in Brunswick the Communists have 
gained a victory." 

My nerves began to give way : though it might be all 
untrue, I could stand it no longer. I fled, out of the room, 
out of the house, out of the garden ... In the village 
the Arum was beating. " The Revolutionary Government 
has decreed ..." I turned back. Is it impossible to 
get away from it for a moment ? I locked the garden door 
behind me so that I should hear it no longer. A white dog 
was playing on the lawn and its mistress followed ; she 
was carrying a Viennese newspaper. 

" At the request of Clemenceau allied troops under 
General Mangin are to be sent against Bela Kun*s Soviet 
Republic. Balfour protests. The British " 

" We are the prisoners of the Entente and what happens 
inside the prison depends upon the gaolers." 

Suddenly the window-panes rattled with the vibration 
of a distant, dull boom. 

" Guns ! " we both exclaimed simultaneously. " From 
the direction of the Ipoly river. Far away ... At 
last ! . . ." Then we suddenly looked at each other in 
amazement ; what we felt seemed so incredible. It is to 
our enemies that we must look for liberation, to France, 
to the country of Franchet d'Esperey, Colonel Vyx, and 


to our ^ittle neighbours who for months have been robbing 
and tearing our country. What has happened to us ? 

Humanity has sometimes forgotten for centuries the 
plans and the power of the Jews. The fate of Egypt, the 
conquest of Canaan, the dissolution of Rome, the religious 
strife in Byzantium, the decline of Spain . . . these and 
many other things. And far away are the great persecu- 
tions of the Jews, which were always the consequence of 
too much audacity, too great activity, on the part of the 
chosen people. These persecutions, the fruits of exaspera- 
tion, were never of long duration, and after them Jewry 
quickly sank back into obscurity, whence it threw sand 
into the eyes of the peoples that they might be blind for 
a generation and forget. 

In the years before the war the suspicions of the 
Hungarian nation, so often aroused before, had been lulled 
to sleep. We saw how the Jews, coming from the East, 
took possession of the land after acquiring the liquor shops 
of the villages. From the little draper's shop in the town 
they laid grasping hands on our whole economic life. We 
saw them during the war withdrawing into safety and 
acquiring millions while our own folk gained crutches. 
We heard that the Zionist Congress of Paris carried the 
following resolution: "Jewry must try to get possession 
of Budapest first, then Hungary, so as to have a base for 
the establishment of its world-rule." And many of us 
read in 1917, during the w r ar, the declaration of their leading 
spirit in Hungary, published in Vildg, the mouthpiece of 
Freemasonry : " We reserve our institutions, our means 
and our men for a superhuman effort later on." Now the 
later on has arrived, has emerged from obscurity. Twenty- 
four Jewish People's Commissaries lead the rest and 
pronounce judgment of life and death upon Hungary. 

The sound of an enemy gun is heard in the distance, and 
suffering humanity breathes freer and thinks of liberations 
Perhaps it will come nearer and shoot down the walls of 
our prison. . . . But no : happier nations would never be 
able to understand that that was needed. 

March 30ih-31st. 

ITEMS of news arrive daily, but there is no sequence. Only 
a few days ago it was announced that ' the British Foreign 
Secretary protests. London will not permit it ... Thirty 
thousand French troops have embarked in Marseilles . . .' 


Now the talk is of General Mangin's Anglo-French armies : 
he is on the way and has taken the field against the 

I put out my candle and sat alone in the dark. A vision 
of spectres rose about me, shaking their heads, apathetic 
spectres of suppressed doubts which extinguished all hope. 
What if nobody comes to our help, if the nations allow us to 
perish miserably while they stand round and watch us being 
eaten up by the worms which arise from our own decay ? 
Surely we cannot descend utterly into the depths unless 
the victorious Great Powers permit it ? Why do they not 
prevent it, if they do not want Bolshevism ? With Karolyi 
for ever cringing, Colonel Vyx, the head of the Entente's 
Military Mission has stopped at nothing. Tak ing adv antage 
of his position he has trodden for months on our self-respect. 
He has treated the Eastern bulwark of Europe, a highly 
cultured people with a lineage as ancient as his own nation's, 
like the French officers treat the savages in their own 
colonies. Why did this egotistical little Jew of Alsatian 
origin, possessed of plenipotentiary powers, withdraw all 
the French troops from Budapest on the eve of the pro- 
clamation of the Dictatorship ? Why did he permit the 
Posts and Telegraphs, over which he had absolute censorial 
sway, to serve Bela Kun in the preparation of his revolution? 

Some day these questions will be answered. The message 
signed by Colonel Vyx, published in the papers of the 26th, 
although the provinces only got the news to-day, throws 
som* light upon one point. The Military Mission of the 
Entente unexpectedly appeals " in the name of conciliation 
and justice " to the Revolutionary Government " to give 
without delay every possible publicity to the following 
communication." It refers to the document in which 
Karolyi announces his resignation : "In his proclamation 
to the Hungarian people the President of the Republic 
said that the Mission of the Entente had stated that it 
would in the future consider the lines of Demarcation as 
political frontiers. I formally declare r that this is an 
erroneous interpretation of the words used ... It has 
never been intended to suggest such political frontiers." 

So it appears that once again Michael Karolyi has 
deceived the nation. But is it not curious that Colonel 
Vyx's mission has delayed this explanation until now ? 
Why did it not take action at once, when Karolyi endeav- 
oured to justify his resignation by the alleged finality of 
frontiers fixed in the Entente's note ? Why did it allow 
him to use nationalist arguments in order to throw Hungary 


into the arms of Bolshevism ? And why did Colonel Vyx 
permit Bela Kun to creep in under the same nationalist 
flag which had covered Karolyi's exit ? 

Who consented to play the game of these two abject 
creatures in the fateful hour when the stakes were a coun- 
try's fate ? The tardy explanation of the Entente Mission 
inevitably creates the impression that Colonel Vyx played 
into their hands, or, at the least, that he showed considerable 
partisanship in their favour. 

The exposure of Karolyi's deception concerning the fixing 
of frontiers shows the falsity of Bela Kun's battle-cry : 
" For territorial integrity ! " Now that he wields both 
armed forces and finances, he sings another tune. He has 
declared to a correspondent of the Viennese Neue Freie 
Presse : "In Soviet Hungary we do not insist on territorial 
integrity . . . We do not recognise any economic 
frontiers." These are the men who have Hungary's fate 
at their mercy ! The very thought makes one's blood 
boil. Is all our ancient pride of race, all our glorious 
history, to be thus trampled under foot by Jews ? Why 
does the Entente delay ? Why does it give Bolshevism 
time to recruit an army for its own support ? 

The Red Soldier, a new daily paper, has just appeared 
in Budapest. Propaganda is active : Pogany recruits, 
Szamuelly directs. What a nightmare it is ! The cradle 
of the Red army is draped with low-class comedy. Its 
advertisements take the shape of newspaper paragraphs 
and vicious posters. From a world of brothels, of cheap 
upholstery, of merry-go-rounds, of foul-mouthed agitators 
speaking from red stands, is the Red army recruited. 

It is proposed to hold Red soldiers' gala performances at 
the theatres, and the newspapers are devoting unending 
columns to rapturous approval of the idea. " The temple 
of the Muses stands in festive attire ! " Yes and to the 
sounds of the Internationale the crowd rushes the free seats. 
In every theatre a different leader will address the audience : 
the Galician Neros will mount the stage and play their parts. 
" There is no such thing as one's own country ! Long lire 
the country of all the Proletarians ! An army is the tool 
of nationalist society. Death to militarism ! Long live 
the Red army ! " 

Someone knocks at my window : it is Elisabeth Kallay 
in a fur coat standing in the twilight. Yes, by all means 
let us go. The evening has become heavy and unbearable 
indoors. Let us get some fresh air. \ "\ 

We walked along the river Galga, and frost from the 


hills came on the breath of the icy wind. Coming home 
we crossed the courtyard. There was a light in the stable 
and a pink-cheeked, fair little girl was sitting on the thres- 
hold. Indoors a woman was sitting on a stool beside a 
cow and one could hear the milk squirting regularly, 
sharply, into the pail. The coachman doffed his hat and 
remained bareheaded, a farmer who was leaning against 
the wall stood up and saluted us. I could not help thinking 
of the war-cry of ' The Red Newspaper ' : " Class war 
must be carried into the villages ! " 

They were talking of the agitators in Aszod. 

" Let them bark," said the farmer placidly ; " first we'll 
see what those people in Budapest are up to." 

I could not distinguish his face but it seemed to me that 
it was not an individual but the whole Hungarian peasantry, 
suspicious, cautious, who had spoken. The Hungarian 
peasant speaks little and is not over-fond of work. Now 
he leans on his plough and watches gravely who shall be 
the owner of the soil. 

" Michael Karolyi has promised it to us. It is true he 
did not redeem his pledge, and what he gave of his own 
was, as it turned out later, no longer his property." 

" The Communists have promised even more," said 
Elizabeth Kallay in the cautious way which the times had 
taught us. 

" They only promise the townsfolk that everything is 
to be theirs," said the farmer ; " here they say that the 
lan<^. too, is common property." 

" Well, well," said the coachman, " it is not easy to 
understand these new-fangled laws." 

" That is why we first listened to the Communists," 
continued the farmer reflectively. " We wanted to see 
what was going to happen to the land. But later on . . ." 
He remained silent for a time, as if debating with himself if 
he ought to speak out or not. So the coachman continued : 

" When they started to talk about the law abolishing 
religion, we did not like it." 

" That's so," agreed the farmer ; " nor did we like it 
when they made a law that, if I may be excused mentioning 
such things, if people lived together for a year in free 
love, that should make them a lawfully wedded couple.'* 
There was silence for a time. The men, ashamed to talk 
to us of these matters, seemed to whisper among themselves, 

" But what roused the women into white heat," the 
farmer laughed, " was the decision that even a married 
man could marry like this over and over again, as his old 


marriage was automatically dissolved by any subsequent 

The former gravity had disappeared. 

" After that the Communists were in a hurry, I can tell 
you, to get on their carts. They would not dare to come 
back here at any price." 

The woman had finished the milking some while ago and 
was standing in the stable door beside the child. Now she 
spoke from her dark corner : 

" They said they would make picture-shows of the 
churches, and that there would be no more illegitimate 
children, nor any inheritance, and that the State would 
take over our children." 

At these words the little girl clung crying to her mother's 
skirts. " Mummie dear," she implored, " you won't let 
the horrid State take me away from you ..." The woman 
shook her head. The coachman laughed and said : " I 
don't know, if you are really naughty ..." 

The child howled, so her mother picked her up in her 
arms and in that one tender movement negatived all 
Oommunist ordinances. She disappeared, carrying the 
weeping child and seeming to become one with it. I 
followed them with my eyes : beyond them, set in a sea of 
darkness, were the soft outlines of the sleeping village : the 
roofs of the cottages alone were visible under the starry sky. 
And Lenin is to come here too ! 

Bled white, the villages sleep and offer no resistance. But 
in their very dreams the villagers cling to the soil ; and the 
soil is their country, and their country is Great Hungary. 

My heart went out to the villages. The village, the 
Hungarian village, is selfish like a child, indifferent like a 
sign-post, and as strong as wind and weather. Its sins 
are the wild revels derived from its vineyards ; the desire 
for fecundity in men, women and soil alike. Its blessings 
are sowing and reaping. 

There is here a ray of hope. Will the Hungarian village 
be our salvation ? 

April lstr-2nd. 

EVEN a few days seems a long time when one is counting 
the hours. And now the second week has gone and there 
is no sign of our distress coming to an end. 

Bolshevism is destroying with the impudence of ignorance 
and building with the inexperience of barbarism. Lenin 
decreed that the old order should be ruthlessly destroyed 


and the new order constructed without delay. The 
Bolsheviks of Budapest hasten to obey. With such 
insatiable zeal do they set to work that their topsy-turvy 
legislation is but a disclosure and a legalisation of their 
previous arbitrary actions. 

The papers give practically no other news. They aim 
blows at human ethical conceptions and at Hungarian 
life. They provide a defence for evil-doers and for brigands. 

The Jewish Commissary for Justice has proscribed the 
administration of justice, for he has suspended the sittings 
of the law-courts ! 

Never before have I realised to what an extent we are 
at these people's mercy. Kdrolyi set the criminals free ; 
the criminals let crime loose to supply their needs. 
Immorality and lawlessness require the freedom of crime 
for their sway. To produce unlimited means for its rule 
Bolshevism abolishes the private property of others, 
distributes it among its own adherents, and uses it to pay 
its servants. 

Anxiety is now perpetually with me : I feel like a person 
going late at night through a dark abandoned street who 
hears moaning from behind a closed window. It is im- 
possible to enter : no policeman can be found. What is 
happening ? Dark speculations haunt one's mind as long 
as night endures. 

Class hatred has established spies and watchers in all 
the houses of Budapest: the secret agents of the new 
powr are to be found in every house ; they watch, black- 
mail, and report. On their good-will depends the 
distribution of food-tickets within the house, and those 
whom they suspect are deprived of bread. Their sanction 
is required to obtain permits if one requires wood, soap, 
or boot-laces, and Proletarians alone receive the permits. 
There is a meatless week in Budapest. The countryside 
is refusing to send supplies, and food is running short. 
Yet they proclaim boisterously that Plenty is the outcome 
of social production ! It is the business of the ' confidential 
man ' in every house to see that the Proletarian should not 
notice the wolf at the door. But it is the intellectual 
workers who are on short rations : the middle classes are 
to be deprived of food tickets. Everything is for the 
Proletarian. Such privileges have never before been 
known, but it is not love for the Proletarian that inspires 
these privileges ; it is the hatred for the Hungarian 
Christian citizens, the delight in their sufferings, that are 
the principles upon which the new rulers govern. 


Under the guise of philanthropy Galician Jews and 
Proletarian rabble are planted among the hated bourgeoisie. 
The kitchen is common property and the middle-class 
occupier is obliged to put his furniture at the disposal of 
the intruders. Home is home no longer. Even in the 
restricted area assigned to them the bourgeoisie is to have 
no peace. The Jewish Dictator of the capital has decreed : 
" Baths for the Proletarian children ! " It sounds a very 
human provision, but is really only a pretence for new 
provocation. A tendencious poster has appeared, an- 
nouncing that the bourgeoise women who " from their 
silken couches used to step into their perfumed baths " 
shall make room for dear little Proletarian children, who 
till now were deprived of the luxury of cleanliness. The 
order runs : 

". . . We also requisition the bath-rooms of private 
dwellings once a week, on Saturdays, for the whole day, for 
the gratuitous bathing of the children sent by schools 
and nursery schools with their certificates. The owners 
of the bath-rooms have to provide gratuitously the 
necessary fuel, lighting, towels and soap. Moritz Preuss." 

And the class they call bourgeois can buy neither fuel 
nor soap ! They want the bourgeoisie to perish, perhaps 
they revel in the idea that they may thus introduce vermin 
and infection into clean homes. Abroad they create the 
impression of being philanthropists, and at home they 
amuse the rabble. For days the houses of Budapest have 
been terrified by the rumour that Tibor Szamuelly intends 
to allow the mob three hours' plunder. 

My own home was continually in my mind. I could 
see my mother sitting alone among her household gods. 
I could see her walking through the rooms, touching now 
one thing, now another, things that remind her of my 
grandmother, of my great-grandmother, of old times, 
things that are part of her life ... She cannot write to 
me, nor can I write to her. I long to go to her for a day, 
or only for an hour . . . 

As I said this Elisabeth Kallay looked at me : 

" Do you know how many of us are already in prison ? 
Do you "want to go there too ?" 

It seemed to me that my mother's face was leaning over 
me and that she repeated : " Don't worry about me, and 
don't come home till ..." 

A carriage drove through the gate, came slowly up the 
drive and stopped in front of the house. A carriage in the 
village ! The hospitable generation which lived before us 


saw nothing terrifying in that. But now I asked myself : 
" Have they come to requisition ? Are they agitators, 
Socialist delegates, or detectives ? Are they on my track ? " 

My heart beat fast, and a plan occurred to me. I 
resolved that if they came for me I would escape by the 
other side of the house, where there is a little door under 
the walnut staircase, and that thence I should make for 
the vineyards, and over the hillock on to the main road. 
I was quite astonished to find how exactly I remembered 
every ditch, every lane, as if from the very start I had 
observed the country with a view to a possible escape. 

Then came a sound of movement and of laughter, 
starting under the porch and spreading all over the house. 
The newcomer was a friend, Baroness Apor, lady-in-waiting 
to the Archduchess Augusta. She brought us newspapers 
and news. A Vienna paper gave a long account of how 
Count Louis Salm had boxed the ears of Michael Karolyi 
in the street the latter was in Vienna on behalf of the 
Revolutionary Cabinet. As he was emerging from the 
door of a house of doubtful reputation Count Salm ran up 
to him : " Take that for the Italian front, that for Hungary 
. . ." and as the blows fell each was similarly explained. 
A crowd gathered round them and a cab was passing. 
Karolyi made desperate signs for it to stop. Then Count 
Salm exclaimed : " Look at him, this is Michael Karolyi who 
has betrayed Hungary ! " The cabman swore a big oath, 
lashed out with his whip at Karolyi, turned his horse and 
drovfcon, while the blows were still falling hard. I wish 
it had been a Hungarian who had given them ! 

Baroness Apor told us that Archduke Joseph's palace 
had been occupied by the Red commander. The furniture 
had been carried off and ' communised ' by the comrades. 

The Archduke and the Archduchess had been compelled 
to flee on the evening of the 21st. They escaped on foot 
in pouring rain, to the accompaniment of a good deal of 
shooting in the town, and hid with some faithful friends 
until next evening. Then they managed to escape in a 
ramshackle old coach through the excise barriers of Buda 
and made off for the hills. The Archduke travelled south 
with two aide-de-camps ; the Archduchess went to Alcsuth 
after having given all her jewels to her husband for travelling 
expenses. He will attempt to get into communication with 
the French commander in the hope of raising the nation. 

New hope ! . . . The room seemed to brighten up and 
life ceased to seem a burden. Perhaps after a week, or a 
few days . . . No, neither after a few days, nor hereafter 


because when it came to crossing the frontier into occupied 
territory the Archduke turned back : he could not bring 
himself to leave that last bit of our country which is the 
only hope of our resurrection. 

Meanwhile his son had been arrested and had been taken 
on a springless cart to Kanizsa, his guards telling him all 
the way that Szamuelly was waiting there to settle his 
business. They asked him if he wanted a ' black coat ' 
for his journey, and pointed to trees : "This one would do 
nicely, or do you prefer that one ?" Now he is imprisoned 
in Budapest. 

So is the former Prime Minister, Alexander Wekerle, 
and Bishop Count Mikes, and Count George Karolyi who 
hates the Communists. Countess Raphael Zichy stayed 
at home, refusing to leave. Is she repeating her famous 
saying : " There is no terror, there is only cowardice ! " 

" Under pretence of looking for arms," Baroness Apor 
told us, " armed Red soldiers invade houses at night. The 
safe deposits have been broken open and pilfered by the 
Government. It is impossible to withdraw money from 
the banks. All jewelry worth more than two thousand 
crowns becomes ' public property.' Mine has been taken 
too. A friend of mine preferred to throw her pearls into 
the Danube. Anybody who still possesses anything is 
hiding it if he can. There is a perfect exodus to the hills 
of Buda. At first people only buried little jewel-cases. 
Then came the rumour of a new order. The larders were 
going to be ransacked. Off to the hills went the barrels of 
lard, the boxes of sugar and tea, the household linen." 

One of us broke in : 

" Yes, but what do people say, how long will this last ? " 

" Nobody knows. People are in despair. News is 
contradicted as soon as published. Karolyi negotiates 
with the Missions of the Entente in the name of the 
Bolshevik Government. The Italians, they say, are 
sympathetic. It is even said that they are disposed to 
recognise the Soviet Republic. The Italian delegate, 
Prince Borghese, is a great friend of Bela Kun and the 
beautiful Jewesses of the Commune. It is also rumoured 
that a Boer general called Smuts is to be sent here to 
force the Bolshevik crowd to resign." Baroness Apor 
glared rigidly before her as if she saw something terrible. 
" Szamuelly is getting more and more to the fore," she 
continued after a short pause. " The Government threat- 
ens in his name whenever it wants to cause alarm. The 
others are busy drawing up the new Constitution. They 


speak and issue orders as if things were to remain like this 
for ever." 

None of us said anything. Our thoughts were so similar 
that speech was superfluous. 

April 4th. 

SOMETIMES nobody visits us for days ; but it happens 
occasionally that people come to see us. As soon as I hear 
their steps on the gravel I run and hide in my room. The 
other day while I was sitting there Countess Dessewffy was 
saying in the drawing-room that the police were after me, 
but that she knew I had made good my escape to 
Switzerland. It seemed quite amusing. With the excep- 
tion of one friend nobody knows that I am here or who I 
am. This is Baron Jeszenszky, whose property is near by, 
at Ko'vesd. He often goes to Budapest. Then we wait 
impatiently for the news he brings back. Anything that 
gives hope finds credence with us. Baron Jeszenszky 
waves his hand in despair : " Mark my words, this will 
never come to an end." 

The more we contradict him the more pessimistic he 
becomes. If, however, we agree, he gets angry and becomes 
hopeful. " What lack of faith ! " 

I feel similarly inclined, and so does everybody else, for 
we express our doubt only in the hope of being contradicted ; 
we try hard to raise some hope in ourselves and are angry 
when it is thrown over. 

W^went early to bed and I read Sir Thomas More. The 
book opened where the conquering Utopys reaches his 
island where he is going to found the realm of universal 
happiness : 

"... But Kyng Utopys, whose name, as conqueror, 
the Hand beareth (for before his tyme it was called Abraxa ) 
which also brought the rude and wild people to that 
excellent perfection in al good fassions, humanitye and 
civile gentilnes, wherein they nowe goe beyond al the people 
of the world : even at his firste arrivinge and 
enteringe upon the lande, furthwith obteynyge the vic- 
tory . . ." 

Sir Thomas More, the forefather of Socialism, imagined 
it like that. He wanted to found his land of universal 
happiness on a gentle, civilised people. Will there ever 
be people like that on this earth ? Until there is, Socialism 
will remain the island of Utopia. 


April 5th. 

THE men of the village Directorate came up to the castle 
to-day. There was some formality about their visit, and 
they wore their black Sunday hats. Mrs. Benjamin Kallay 
received them herself. The bad man of the village spoke 
the loudest among them, and whenever this occurred the 
others cast their eyes down and nudged their neighbours : 
" Come, speak up, now ! " I thought of the little peacock- 
blue Sevres vases up in the drawing-room ; the Persian 
dishes and the old hand-painted fans in the glass-case. 
How were they going to describe them in their inventory ? 

One of them declared that no more wine must be brought 
up from the cellar, for prohibition had been enforced. 
Nothing in the house must be removed, for it all belongs 
henceforth to the State. The others nodded as they 
looked around. " The people from the towns are going 
to come soon." And so they left without making an 

The day has not yet come, but what of the morrow ? 
Incertitude is increasing daily. Everything becomes tran- 
sitory. In one's plans one does not even dare to make 
arrangements for the following day. Generally one makes 
no plans at all. Days and hours become independent 
units, without continuity or cohesion among them. 

The Sunday hats of the Directorate were flocking back 
to the garden gate. One of them lingered behind, then 
seized the opportunity of turning back. He stood there 
before us, an old man, humble, hat in hand, with sad eyes : 

" Dear little lady," he stuttered shamefacedly, " might 
I ask your Excellency for a little wine ? Nobody will know. 
I want it for an invalid. A young woman who is dying." 
A bottle was given to him and he hid it furtively under his 

The Soviet Government threatens with its summary 
jurisdiction anyone found drinking wine. Not even the 
sick are allowed any. But drunken soldiers stagger 
unmolested in the gutter. The People's Commissaries have 
champagne orgies in their special trains and throw the 
empty bottles from the windows. They have drinking 
bouts in the Soviet House of Budapest, the former Hotel 
Hungaria, which they have requisitioned. The occupants 
were expelled without notice and within a few hours the 
Commissaries, some with their wives, others with their 
mistresses, occupied the place. 

Everything I see, everything I hear, carries my thoughts 
to the guilty town, bids them seek among its million people, 




for the sake of one ! To-day I received the first message 
from home. Charles Kiss, our faithful friend, has escaped 
from among the accursed walls and brought me a letter 
from my mother. She is well ; she has already left for our 
cottage among the hills of Buda. She was in want of 
nothing, nobody interfered with her. They have not been 
looking for me. Thus Kiss brought me nothing but good 

While I listened to him I was filled with joy : " Then 
there is no longer any reason why I should not go home ! " 
At this his face changed suddenly. No, not yet, better wait 
a little longer . . . And as he argued the point I suspected 
his former statements more and more. So they had only 
been designed to re- assure me ! 

Hans Freitag, Councillor at the German Legation, had 
come to see my mother and had warned her that I ought 
to escape if I were still there. Now the removal of my 
mother to the hills had a different meaning to me : my 
mother had to choose between her flat in town and her 
cottage in the hills. Need for choice came suddenly and 
she had moved the previous day. But I learnt that the 
flat was now occupied by very decent people ; the Red 
soldiers who brought them behaved quite nicely. They 
had put altogether three families and a school into the flat ; 
they were Jews and Proletarians but it was all right, no 
harm had been done, everything had gone smoothly. Only 
a little furniture and a few pictures were left behind in the 

Slowty I began to visualise the whole thing. Rd 
soldiers . . . That meant she had been expelled by force. 
All sorts of insignificant trifles swept through my head. 
The tiny treasures of the old show-case . . . The snuff-box 
which had a tinkling little tune hidden within it ... The 
yellow porcelain dame with her crinoline and her unnatur- 
ally slender waist. . . . Where have they gone to, those 
friends of my childhood ? And the ash-tray which used 
to stand near the clock ? Has it gone ? And the water- 
colours ? And my mother's work-basket, her patience 
cards ? The crucifix from Ravenna on my bookcase ? 
Who has removed it ? My manuscripts, my books, my 
pictures ? 

The Jewish Commissary of Education had decreed that 
books left in houses became the property of the Soviet 
Republic. All collections of books have to be reported. 
Valuable pictures become common property. 

Charles Kiss re-assured me : " Everything is still there," 


but I could believe his kind-hearted statements no longer. 
A torturing picture haunted me incessantly : I saw a home 
pulled to pieces, strange people in our rooms and the front 
door ,through which my lonely mother had to leave ,wide open. 

The subject had been changed a long while ago, but I 
had not noticed it. I realised it only when I heard someone 
say : "It will last longer than we had expected." 

I shuddered as a hopeless silence ensued. The ticking of 
the clock above fell on our ears. One by one the minutes 
dropped into eternity seeming to make time unbearable. 
Yet from the silence of despair victorious hope dared to 
raise its head. 

" The People's Commissaries seem to be already 
quarrelling among themselves," said Charles Kiss. " They 
are even said to have come to blows. Szamuelly wanted 
to get the Red army into his own hands." 

" Yes, they may quarrel over a question of power, but 
when it comes to oppressing us they hold together." 

" Yet it ended with the downfall of Pogany. The 
adherents of Szamuelly informed the Soldiers' Council that 
he intended to abolish the system of ' confidential men ' 
which had been so successful in poisoning the mind of the 
remnant of our army. Now the Social-Communists require 
a well-disciplined, serviceable army. 

" Marxism only sticks to its principles, ends and catch- 
words as long as they serve as weapons to attack society. 
The ( confidential men ' would not stand the plan. It 
happened yesterday. In the afternoon they drew up the 
International Red Regiment, which is ready for any 
mischief. Accompanied by an infuriated mob of dissatis- 
fied workmen and hungry good-for-nothings they went up 
to the Royal Castle. They invaded St. George's Square, 
clamouring for Pogany. The ' confidential men ' of the 
regiment broke into the Commissariat of War. From the 
balconies they urged their men on. The system of 
' confidential men ' to which Pogany owed his shameful 
power, by means of which he had removed Ministers of 
War and terrorised the whole nation into submission, now 
became the instrument of his own downfall." 

The dogs barked somewhere in the grounds. This alone 
broke the silence. Then Charles Kiss went on : 

" In a few minutes the news spread over the town. Many 
heard the howling of the demonstrators who were cursing 
Pogany. People were already saying that he had been 
hanged and that Bela Kun had been hanged at his side. 
Later on it turned out that the news was false. All that 


had happened was that the Cabinet had increased the 
number of its members and had made certain changes. 
There are now more Jewish People's Commissaries than 
ever. Pogany and Szamuelly have become Commissaries 
for Education. Bela Kun controls the War Office. Then 
people found a new ray of hope. We put all our confidence 
in General Smuts." 

" So the news was true after all? " 
" We expected a lot of him," Kiss went on. " Budapest 
was confident that a British general, one of the Delegates 
of the Paris Peace Conference, would not come to an agree- 
ment with Bela Kun and his company. The town was full 
of hope. Everybody had some good news. Szamuelly's 
declaration was attributed to the general's coming." 
" What sort of declaration ? " 

He took a newspaper out of his pocket and spread it over 
the table. There it was, in huge type, in a conspicuous 
place. It was characteristic of the world we lived in that 
it was considered within the province of the Minister of 
Education to make such a declaration. 

" For several days unscrupulous elements have been 
spreading the news that I intend giving permission for 
general plundering. This is a base calumny and a disgrace- 
ful lie. I appeal to the Comrades to give me an opportunity 
to face the scoundrels who spread this news and to make an 
example of them. I ask them to help me to put those who 
spread this news before a Revolutionary Tribunal and have 
summary justice meted out to them. Tibor Szamuelly, 
Assistant People's Commissary for Education." 

" When it became known," Kiss went on, " that General 
Smuts, though he had ordered rooms in an hotel, had not 
even entered the town but had summoned Bela Kun to the 
railway station, there was no limit to our illusions. But 
ic did not last. This morning the Communists informed 
us triumphantly of their success ; the Entente had entered 
into negotiations with the Governments of Moscow and 
Budapest ..." 

My mind reverted to Brest- Litovsk. We did not know- 
it at the time, but it was there that we lost the war. Now 
even the victors may lose it in Budapest and Moscow. 

" General Smuts came here," Kiss added sadly, " not 
to threaten but to negotiate. The journalist friends of the 
People's Commissaries told us that General Smuts had 
offered the Government a favourable line of demarcation. 
If B61a Kun will consent to come to some arrangement, the 
Powers are prepared to compel the Roumanians to retire 


eastwards and to form a neutral zone occupied by British, 
French and Italian troops. The journalists also say that 
the General will recommend in Paris that the interested 
States should hold a conference which would finally fix 
their respective frontiers. He promised to use his influence 
to persuade the Powers to invite Bela Kun's Government 
to Paris. He will have the blockade raised and provide 
fats and other articles of which we are in need. All he 
required in compensation was the cessation of all attempts 
to spread the idea of a world-revolution. The success 
made Bela Kun dizzy. He would be satisfied with nothing. 
The attempt of the Entente to compromise with him has 
strengthened his position incredibly, and now he is pro- 
claiming to the world that the Great Powers are afraid of 
him. He wants no increase of territory, he wants free 
trade and free propaganda in the neighbouring States." 

Last autumn, the great collapsing Monarchy appealed 
to Wilson and asked for his intervention. Through Mr. 
Lansing, his Secretary of State, he sent the following 
answer : " We will not negotiate with you." And with 
cruel irony he referred the peace-begging Power to its little 
neighbours. Then he did not deign to speak to us, but he 
has no hesitation in bargaining with Bela Kun. Are they 
really afraid of him ? Or do they think that he will sur- 
render Hungarian nationality in exchange for the freedom 
of Bolshevism ? Is the national ideal of Hungary more 
dangerous in the eyes of the Entente than the national 
ideal of the Jews ? The British General has gone. His 
steps die away in the distance. He has knocked at our 
window and we could not move and appeal to him. The 
villains have tied our hands and gagged us and we strain 
at our bonds in helpless agony. 


April 6ih. 

THE woman for whom we were asked for wine yesterday 
was buried to-day. The coffin was placed on the ground 
in the clean-swept little farmyard, and her mother arranged 
the corpse as though she were putting it to bed. Suddenly 
she knelt down beside the coffin and with her trembling, 
rugged old hand stroked the rough boards and cried aloud : 
" Good God, why hast thou taken her from me, why could 
not I die in her place ? . . ." 

Thus do mothers address grim death. What will they 
say when the attempt is made to take their living children 
from them ? Her lament became louder and louder and 
dominated the ceremony. The Cantor said farewell to the 
deceased in verses, singing them to an old-fashioned melody 
which he repeated over and over again. This melody 
contained the memory of ancient bards and the sorrows 
of wandering troubadours ; the verses mentioned by name 
all the mourning relations, each of whom, as his name was 
pronounced, sobbed loudly, as though expressing his 
personal grief in the general mourning. When the husband 
was named he pressed his face into his doffed hat and his 
shoulders shook with sobs. The others had their turn, but 
the ote woman alone lamented from the beginning to the 

Everybody wept over his own sorrow, in the coffin alone 
there were no tears. The tree in the yard stretched over 
it, and as the branches swayed in the wind the dim sunlight 
threw their shadow over the coffin. The shadow revealed 
that there were fresh buds on the branches, signs of nature's 
resurrection, and I realised that spring was coming. 

" In Paradisum ..." The priest blessed the coffin, 
blessed it as he blesses an infant at a christening, the 
couples at a wedding, with the same large movement which 
has served since the time of Christ for the blessing on this 
earth of new life, of love and of death. 

In Budapest the Red Power has decreed that from this 
day Christ's churches are to be closed and kinematographs 
established in them. The Christian priesthood is threatened 
with the halter. The teaching orders are expelled and the 
nuns driven from the bedside of the sick and the cradles 
of the orphans. The dresses of their Orders are torn from 



them. Their buildings become Communist meeting-places 
and the scenes of secret orgies. 

Theoretical Socialism has declared that religion is the 
private affair of the individual. Now that it has got past 
the stage of theory and has entered that of bloodthirsty 
reality religion has ceased to be a private affair, for not 
even the soul must possess private property. Private 
property has been abolished and common property has 
been substituted. Religion is no longer a private affair, it 
is public business. And public business in Hungary is now 
controlled in the name of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat 
by twenty-six Jewish People's Commissaries, who this day 
crucify the Word with the same panting hatred with which 
they crucified Him two thousand years ago. And the 
people stand now as before, unimpressed, at the foot 
of the Cross, again not understanding what is being crucified 
above its head with laughter, contempt and hatred. 

It is easier to drive cattle on than human beings ; this 
the Communists realise. By taking from the people its 
religion they take everything from them but the couch, 
the platter and the cup ; they deprive them at a stroke of 
morals, philosophy and beauty. 

The people knelt round the coffin and prayed, because 
someone was there to tell them to pray ; they turned to 
their inner selves, above the cup and the platter, because 
there was someone who told them that there was a God above. 

Then the funeral procession wended its way out of the 
little farmyard. Four men lifted the coffin, one of them 
the dead woman's husband. His head leant against the 
boards as though leaning on her shoulder. The weeping 
crowd followed them up the hill-side. The bell tolled in 
the steeple above the roofs. And the bell was still ringing 
for the dead when, the funeral over, the mood of the people 
had changed. The girls, gay in their finery, displayed 
their charms. Two farmers bargained over the purchase 
of a cow. A young man pinched the arm of a grinning 
maid. . 

April 7th. 

NEWS reached us to-day. After driving the King from 
Schonbrunn, Vienna has driven him from Eckartsau too. 
An escort of British officers protected him and his family. 
Henceforth he is to live in Prangins. Thus the little 
mountainous region whence long ago Rudolph, Count of 
Habsburg, set out towards the Imperial Crown, bearing in 

his han 


hand his great destiny, has now, after eight hundred 
years, received his heir, holding nothing in his hand but 
the past. But there is as much force in an historical past 
as in an historical future. 

The event provokes a few sardonic lines, set among the 
brief news items of the Red papers. The French mob 
shouted insults at its King when he was taken to the 
Temple. To-day the rabble shouts too. But the 
Hungarian nation has nothing in common with the rabble. 
The same crowd which knocked down one night the statue 
of Francis Joseph in Budapest and smashed the effigies 
of kings on the millenary memorial, is now vomiting insults 
shamelessly in the columns of its newspapers. But it is 
the foreign hand, the foreign voice, that acts and speaks. 

The double-headed eagle which swooped down on so 
many thrones of Europe, has returned with broken wings 
to the mountains. Its shadow passed like a cloud over 
the fields of lost battles. 

A short notice is all that the foreigners' press has to give 
to the King of Hungary. Those who fawned before Mm in 
endless columns so long as they could use him against the 
country, now have no more to give to him when he in turn 
can give no longer. Cowardice knows no mean between 
cringing and slinging mud. As for the Hungarians, what- 
ever they may think, in presence of the misfortune of a 
man and a King, they bow respectfully and in silence. 

King Charles IV. expiates not only his own mistakes, 
but Uhose of his predecessors for four centuries. The 
descendant pays with the loss of his country, because the 
ancestors would never make Hungary their home. The 
dynasty allowed its advisers systematically to weaken 
Hungary. And this camarilla, to keep the people of the 
Great Plain in check, has let loose upon it every possible 
nationality, ending with the immigrant gabardined fathers 
of Bela Kun and Szamuelly. But it was not alone upon 
us, it was upon them too. The Habsburgs never under- 
stood that our strength was their strength and our weakness 
their weakness. Their whole country was made up of 
peoples which were attracted by their kindred beyond the 
borders. The peoples of the Monarchy were all looking 
outward. The petted Austrians looked towards Germany, 
the Poles towards Warsaw, their favourites, the Czechs, 
towards the Slav giant, the Roumanians towards young 
Roumania, the Southern Slavs towards Serbia, the Italians 
towards Italy, the Jews towards the Jewish Internationale. 
The Hungarians alone had no such kin. We did not look 


anywhere, nobody tempted us beyond the fron- 
tiers. And yet the rulers preferred all the other peoples 
to us, and loaded them with goods, treasures and power. 
And now the peoples have gone, taking with them our 
land, our goods, our treasures. This is the harvest of four 
hundred years policy of divide et impera ; the peoples are 
divided, but the Habsburgs rule no longer over them. 
Between the torn pieces the crown has fallen to the ground. 

April 8th. 

THERE were elections yesterday in what is left of Hungary. 
Now that Socialism is in power it shows how it carries out 
the principles of universal suffrage and secret ballot, which 
for decades were the catch-words with which it endeavoured 
to seduce the electorate. The time has come when no 
obstacle to Marxism exists, all ways and means are at its 
disposal. In the village since early morning men and 
women have been flocking to the communal hall. In the 
Soviet Republic, Proletarians alone have a vote, but those 
who do not avail themselves of their right are deprived 
of their food tickets and are liable to be summoned before 
the Revolutionary Tribunal. Priests have no votes. 
Hungarian gentry cultivating their own land have no votes, 
nor have crippled heroes nor invalided officers. Lawyers 
are not Proletarians. But any Russian or foreign Jew 
can vote if he is a Proletarian. And the Jews who, before 
the social upheaval, claimed that they belonged to cultured 
classes, have now turned Proletarians. Even the sons of 
bank directors. At the town-hall door stood a man who 
handed out the printed list of the official candidates. 

The voters looked at the list. One or two read it and 

" Let's cross this one out and write our cousin's name 
instead," the women advised. The returning officers 
shouted : " Let no one dare to cross out the names of 
candidates or substitute others in their place ! " 

" Well, Mr. Comrade," a labourer asked, " then what 
am I to do with this bit of paper ? " 

"You just go and vote with it, comrade," was the answer, 
and the ticket was taken out of his hand. 

" Devil take it ! " exclaimed the men, passing lists over 
the table. And in this spirit the proud and triumphant 
Proletariat elected its council. 

In the neighbouring villages and even in Budapest it 
was done in the same way. Comrade Landler's emissaries 


had prepared the lists of candidates in advance. 
Preliminary meetings and the assembling of crowds were 
prohibited. Even the privileged class of Budapest working 
men only saw the printed list of the candidates when the 
voters entered the booth. 

Somebody who had visited Budapest told us who were 
the candidates of the People's Commissaries. In one single 
constituency there were twenty-two comrades whose name 
was Weiss a typically Jewish name. Under the super- 
vision of Red soldiers everything went off smoothly. In 
one single ward only was there any disturbance. There the 
terrorists had not dared to forbid gatherings ; consequently 
the electors put their heads together, made up a list of their 
own, and defeated the official candidates. This little 
incident was quickly settled by the Commissary for the 
Interior : he simply annulled the election and the official 
list was declared duly elected. Socialism has shown how 
it applies its own principles when it achieves power. The 
advocates of the unrestricted freedom of the press tolerate 
nothing but the official newspapers. The champions of 
free assembly will not tolerate the gathering of a few people 
in the street. Those who incessantly clamoured for a 
reduction of working hours have introduced forced labour. 
The frenzied enemies of militarism shout at their recruiting 
meetings : " Join the Red army ! " The foul-mouthed 
demagogues of secret universal suffrage impose on the 
people their official candidates. 

lie foreign intruders have put the roof on the edifice of 
which Hungarian labourers had been the masons and 
bricklayers. Does Hungarian labour see at last for what 
ends its trade-unions have been used ? Those who attained 
power through the trade -unions are now attempting to 
destroy them. By a single decree the Jewish tyrants of 
the Soviet Republic have abolished the unions. The 
Commissaries of Hungary boldly declare in their official 
newspaper, ' The People's Voice ' : 

" Part of their task has been achieved by the power 
displayed in the great battle of class-war. . . . They 
caused the upheaval of the Proletarian Revolution. Class- 
war is marching on victoriously and has lef * trade-unionism 
behind it. It has become superfluous. The humanitarian task 
of trade-union organisations must come under State control." 

April 9th. 
Catastrophes get more and more frequent, evil spreads 


and takes root. Early in the morning of the 7th a Soviet 
Republic was proclaimed in Munich. Will Bolshevism 
stop there or will it involve unfortunate Red Austria ? If 
our premonitions are realised the horrible rule which 
attempts the subjugation of the world will extend from the 
Eastern border of Asia to the banks of the Rhine. 

Bestial tyranny spreads like a deluge over the earth, 
and the bloodless victims of the war are dragged helplessly 
into the vortex. It has already swept away towns, 
countries, even continents hi its uncurbed stream. It has 
surged up from under the earth through the gratings of 
gutters, through the doors of dark dwellings, down the 
marbJe staircases of banks, over the columns of the news- 
papers. The groping, mystical Slav, the high-spirited yet 
conservative Hungarian, the meditative clumsy Teuton, 
what a contrast of races ! Yet the realisation of the Soviet 
system has been accompanied in every case by wonderfully 
similar symptoms. The awful conception shows no trace 
whatever of the racial characteristics of the three peoples, 
yet it has been carried through on the same plan and by peo- 
ple of the same psychology in Moscow, Budapest and Munich. 

When Russia collapsed Kerensky was ready, and 
Trotsky's spirit was watching behind Lenin's shadow. 
When Hungary was fainting and reeling from loss of blood, 
there, behind Karolyi, were Kunfi, Jaszi and Pogany on 
the look-out, and they were followed by Bela Kun and his 
band. And when Bavaria began to totter, Kurt Eisner 
was waiting to organise the first act. As with us and with 
Russia, the second act followed and there stood Max 
Levian (Lewy), the Moscow Jew, to proclaim the repetition 
of the Proletarian Republic and the replica of Hungarian 
and Russian Bolshevism. 

While I was tracing the connection of the bloody events, 
my mind turned to certain incidents of the past. Early 
spring was looking through my window and gentle winds 
fanned my face. But I thought of a dense, sticky fog. It 
was from the fog that a man's howl rose : " Long live the 
Revolution ! To death with Tisza ! " There it was again, 
howling from the staircase of the House of Parliament : 
" Let us see no more soldiers ! " What demoniacal power, 
hidden by the fog, prompted these cries ? What power 
cast its spell to lure a haughty, brave nation into shame, 
cowardice and perdition ? Months have passed since I 
first asked this question, and the obvious answer revolted 
my conscience, which required time to be convinced. But 
Calvary has taught me the lesson. Now I seek no longer, 



I know 


know. It is not by accident that the scourge and the 
executioner, the law and the law-giver, the judge and the 
sentence, of the Turanian Hungarians, the Teutonic 
Bavarians and the Slav Russians were one and the same. 
The racial differences of the three peoples are too great to 
render that mysterious resemblance possible. It is clear 
that it must originate from the soul of another people 
which lives among them, but not with them, and has 
triumphed over all three. The demon of the Revolution 
is not an individual, not a party, but a race among the races. 

The Jews are the last people of the Ancient East who 
survived among the newer peoples of shorter history. As 
the carriers of biblical tradition they have been assured a 
certain tolerance and they look for the accomplishment of 
certain ancient curses. Despised in some places, they were 
feared in others, but everywhere they remained for ever 

The Jew comes uninvited and declines to go when 
dismissed. He spreads and yet holds together. He 
penetrates the bodies of the nations. He invisibly organises 
his own nation among alien peoples. He creates laws 
beyond the law. He denies the conception of ' patrie ' 
but has a ' patrie ' of his own which wanders and settles 
with him. He scoffs at other people's conception of God 
and yet builds churches of his own everywhere. He 
laments the fallen walls of Jerusalem and drags the ruins 
invisibly with him. He complains of his isolation but 
builds secret ways as arteries of the boundless city which 
has by now spread practically throughout the world. His 
connections and communications reach everywhere. Other- 
wise how can it be possible that his finances and his press 
should, wherever they may be centred, strive for the same 
goal all over the world ? How is it that his racial interests 
are identical in a Ruthenian village and in the heart of New 
York ? He praises one individual, and the praise rings 
over the globe. He condemns another, and that man's 
ruin begins wherever he be. Orders are given in mysterious 
secrecy. What the Jew finds ridiculous in other people, 
he keeps fanatically alive in himself. He teaches anarchy 
and rebellion only to the gentiles, he himself obeys blindly 
the directions of his invisible leaders. 

Mirabeau was led towards the Revolution by Moses 
Mendelssohn and the influence of beautiful Jewesses. They 
were there, in Paris, behind every revolution, and they 
appear in history among the leading spirits of the Commune 
of 1871. But they are only visible during the hours of 


incitement and success ; they are not to be found among 
the martyrs and the sufferers. When the returning powers 
of order proceeded to take revenge on the Commune, Marx 
and Leo Frankel had fled. 

It was during the days of the Turkish Revolution that a 
Jew said proudly to my father : " We made that : the 
Young Turks are Jews." I remember at the time of 
the Portuguese Revolution Marquis Vasconcellos, the 
Portuguese Minister in Rome, telling me : " The Revolution 
of Lisbon is instigated by Jews and Freemasons." And 
to-day, when the greater half of Europe is in the throes of 
revolution, the Jews lead everywhere in accordance with 
their concerted plans. Plans like these cannot be conceived 
in a few months or a few years. How, then, is it possible 
that people have not noticed it ? How could such a world- 
wide conspiracy be concealed when so many people were 
involved ? The easy-going and blind, the bribed, wicked 
or stupid agents of the nation did not know what the game 
was. The organisers in the back-ground belonged to the 
only human race which has survived antiquity and has 
remembered how to guard a secret. That is the reason 
why not a single traitor was found among them. 

April 10th. 

Baron Jeszenszky paid us a visit. 

" You would not recognise Budapest any longer. There 
are queues in front of all the restaurants. Many people 
take up their seat on the kerb early in the morning, so as 
to make sure of a dinner. They have to take tickets 
beforehand if they want to get a meal, just as one used to 
book one's seat for the theatre. The meals too are like 
stage meals, for they consist of tiny portions of bad food 
which have to be gulped down in a hurry because the 
following number is waiting impatiently. A porridge of 
millet, greens and stewed cabbage, that is the menu. That 
is the food for which people wait for hours and pay 
exorbitant sums. They enter hungry and leave hungry. 
They stagger, sick with hunger. Everybody is emaciated." 

Only the new privileged classes, the families of People's 
Commissaries, the millionaires of the Revolution and the 
body-guard of the Cabinet, the ' Terror Boys,' live well. 
I thought of the Batthyany palace. A band of terrorists 
occupied it in the first days of the Commune, and they 
have remained there ever since. The grand drawing-room, 
where I used to see masses of azaleas between the magnifi- 


cent old furniture, is theirs, with everything that artistic 
and beauty-loving generations have collected. I wonder 
who listens now to the ticking of the old clock which once 
belonged to Michael Apafi, Prince of Transylvania ? What 
hands finger the ivory Christ of Countess Louis Batthyany ? 
Dreadful tales are told of the palace. It is said that those 
who are dragged there by the terrorists are never seen again. 

Baron Jeszenszky then spoke of other things. 

" Palaces are treated worse than other places. The finer 
the mansion the dirtier the people who are installed in it. 
Cooking ranges are put into the drawing-rooms, their 
chimneys rest against the brocade-covered walls. Libraries 
are transformed into sculleries. 

Somebody mentioned the National Club. 

" The whole place is unspeakably filthy," Jeszenszky 
said. " The silver, the whole equipment, the library, have 
all been confiscated. The office which disposes of the 
property of the Church has been established there. An 
unfrocked priest of the Piarist Order sits there organising 
the despoiling of the Church and the confiscation of the 
property of the various creeds. The provincial Soviets 
receive their orders to attack convents and the palaces 
of bishops from this place." 

Evening was darkening the windows. The clock struck. 
For a while we stayed with Jeszenszky, then we walked 
towards the village. 

" Let us look at that house which is for sale," said 
Elisabeth Kallay, as we turned off the main road. 

We crossed a small farmyard. The house was surrounded 
by mud, and it took some time before the good wife could 
be found. She asked us to wait as the master was out, and 
brought us chairs. A young man strolled out from the 
stable, doffed his hat, and sat down on the stairs. Now 
and then he looked stealthily at us, then went on smoking 
his pipe in silence. 

Lenke Kallay spoke to him. 

" One knows little that is good and little that is bad 
about this new order," he said cautiously. " There are 
some who like it and some who don't. It may be true that 
the Government intends to give every farmer three hundred 
acres and make them free of taxes." Then he cast his eyes 
down and began to stir the mud with the point of his boot. 
" You see, they will confiscate nothing but big fortunes, 
and that for justice's sake." 

The sound of a cart was heard approaching from 
the main road. Elisabeth Kallay turned in that direction. 


" I have heard that carts and horses are being 
requisitioned for the Red army." 

The attitude of the man changed suddenly. He raised 
his head threateningly and his voice was full of rage : 
" Just let them try. I will knock down the first who 
touches mine ! " 

April llth-13th. 

PALM Sunday. Spring has come. Easter is approaching 
through awakening nature, and yet this Palm Sunday is 
very different from all those I can remember. The days of 
persecution, forgotten for thousands of years, are rising 
from their grave and haunting us. Life is like the ravings 
of a fever-stricken brain ; the Christian faith is persecuted 
in Hungary to-day. Our churches are in danger. Kunfi, 
the People's Commissary for Education, the Jew who has 
so often changed his religion, has decreed that the priests 
must read from the pulpit every Sunday for three weeks 
only that which they are directed to read. 

The apathetic village has cast off its apathy : as if rising 
in defence of its property it becomes demonstrative. In 
the be-ribboned costumes of the country, girls in white 
shirts, with long waists and short skirts, women in shawls, 
are going up the hill-side. Behind them comes the throng 
of men. The procession has a determined obstinate look 
about it. Besides its faith, beyond its prayers, there is in 
the soul of this people the old Hungarian spirit of rebellion . 
There are many of them ; the whole village, even the 
invalids, have turned up. The banners of the church are 
swaying slowly, higher and higher up the hill. A cross, 
carried aloft, shows against the sky. The little sun-kissed 
square in front of the church swarms with men in black and 
women in all colours of the rainbow. Bells ring and the 
smell of incense pervades the cold air of the church. 
Palm leaves are consecrated by the priest at the altar. 

I hid behind the Kdllays in the dim light of the oratory. 
The crowd surged at the end of the aisle, furrowed faces, 
seamed with toil. In front of them little girls, starched 
little figures rendered artificially ugly, then- tightly-plaited 
hair standing up on the sides of their heads, like little horna 
ornamented with ribbons. The boys stood on the other 
side. Those who stood bare-footed on the cold flags raised 
their feet alternately to warm them against their legs. A 
tall boy nudged his small brother. The little one looked 
back, but prayed on without laughing. Even the children 


seemed more serious than usual. I have never seen a more 
serious crowd. 

The poor village organ struggled pantingly with the 
Gregorian chants. Under the motionless church banners 
the human voices rose, some high, some low, a little out of 
tune and clumsy. Yet the ancient liturgical song, the 
thousand-year-old mournful song of Palm Sunday was very 

"... And they betrayed the Son of Man to be crucified 


These words, so often heard, fell like blows on my heart, 
and had now a new meaning for me. I felt that this Palin 
Sunday was not a commemoration of the past, but a 
statement of the dark happenings of the present. Christ 
was undergoing a fresh Passion on this earth. The ancient 
plaintive tune of the Passion continued in the church. 

"... Then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him : 
and others smote Him with the palms of their hands, saying 
Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote Thee ?" 

As if all the church were thinking the same, a shudder 
went through the crowd : the same people had smitten 
Him two thousand years ago. 

". . . And when He was accused, He answered nothing 


It seemed an awful duty to repeat the cry of the Jews 
from the Gospels : " Let Him be crucified ! " And the 
words followed by which the people of Jerusalem accepted 
the responsibility for the sentence : 

" His blood be on us and on our children ! " 
There was a moment's silence, as if the people were 
following the burden carried by their voices. And then, 
as from afar, the song resumed : 

"... And led him away to crucify Him ..." 
The organ, like a decrepit old shepherd, gathered the 
flock together. The voices rose in unison and clamoured 
in such despair as has probably never been heard in this 
our land : 

". . . My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me ? " 
The people chanted it with pale faces, with broken hearts, 
and in that moment every one of them was Christ and 
Christ's words were their own. 

The sounds had died away, and yet a feeling as of a 
wound remained. The church door opened and through 
the doorway the bright sunshine floated in. And the 
centuries-old hymn of Hungarian Catholicism rang out in 
a last appeal. It spread, rose, and mingled with spring, 


and its eastern rhythm and western faith clamoured to the 
endless blue sky. 

April 14th. 

NOWADAYS I often feel like one who has lost his way in an 
unknown country on a dark night. He dares not move : 
he stands in the dark and waits for the sun to rise. But 
sunrise never seems to come, his terror becomes insufferable, 
and his mind becomes unhinged. 

The whole of Hungary is in darkness to-day. Those who 
were once together are separated. Each isolated district 
bears its tribulation in solitude. What is happening in 
Transylvania, in Upper Hungary, down in the South, 
beyond the Danube, or in Budapest itself ? In the dark 
one hears nothing but the awful crash of collapse, one is 
ignorant what has fallen down and where the cataclysm 
happened. Then all of a sudden news comes in secret 
whispers. The whole country is falling. In Transylvania 
and in the South the Roumanians and Serbians rule with 
the scourge in their hands. In Upper Hungary the Czechs 
labour to fill the prisons. They persecute and punish 
everything Hungarian. But for that, life must be more 
tolerable there than in the Red area, because there people 
have the hope of resurrection. The events here, if they 
are to continue, can only end in death. In Budapest and 
in all that remains of Hungary the miscreants are erecting 
gallows. At first they promised integrity, bread, peace 
and freedom. Now they are sneering at our territorial 
integrity. They give us starvation instead of bread, a 
Red army instead of peace. Here and there the dis- 
illusioned, betrayed victims raise their voices. Deception, 
as a means of government, can never be anything but 
transitory, and can only be followed by the honest truth 
or by terrorism. What will become of us ? How often 
have we asked that question ? 

I gazed out upon Nature's calendar. When I left home 
it was still winter ; it snowed now and then and the bare 
branches showed up black against the bleak sky. Then 
one day the sickle of the moon appeared, like the wind- 
blown flame of a torch, above the hillock, and green clouds 
covered the bushes. The green clouds have turned into 
young leaves and beyond the hillock above the steeple 
night raises a round red disk in the sky. Many days have 
passed. Enough days for the moon to grow to its full size. 


The Night of April 14th-15th. 

THE embers have died in the stove. I watched them for 
a long time : now they are collapsing, and it is cold. There 
has never been a cold like this, yet I sit here and write, 
though there is no reason for it. But after all, I do not 
write for others, I do not write to keep a record of my 
thoughts, I write only to relieve my feelings. 

Charles Kiss came this evening, running the gauntlet of 
the police in order to bring me news. 

It may be an afterthought, but it seems to me that I 
knew he was coming. I believe I felt something impending, 
something I had feared for days, something unavoidable. 
In the evening the others had discussed the coming Easter 
festivities. I did not join in the conversation ; I kept out 
of it whenever I could, and perhaps it was this that gave 
me a lonely feeling. There is such a thing as presentiment. 

I am not allowed to stay here. 

To-day everybody who is Hungarian is outlawed and 
homeless on every inch of Hungarian soil. To their 
bloodhounds our ' rulers ' throw the lives of those who 
dare to light against them. I have fought against them 
and my life has been proscribed. 

They have selected for the deed a certain Mikulics, a 
one-eyed terrorist, nicknamed ' the Cyclops ' by the others. 
I never heard of him before, but it appears that he is the 
plenipotentiary chief of the Air Service. Szamuelly said 
of him that he was so cruel that even he could not stand 
up against him. This man has been commissioned to settle 
with me. He himself said : " I must do away with her." 
And henceforth my life will depend upon my ability to 
avoid him. There is another one also who is after me, and 
he too is quite unknown to me. He is the head of the 
newly-established Secret Service, and is a bosom friend of 
Szamuelly. He is called Otto Korvin, though his real 
name is Klein. He is a hunchbacked little Jew who used 
to be a bank clerk. 

The idea of it fills me with terror. A hand seems to be 
feeling for me, slowly, steadily, trying to grasp me. I 
have had that feeling ever since Charles Kiss told me about 
it. Faithful friend ! How concerned he was, and how 
pale he looked ; he could only talk in whispers. When 
his carriage stopped under the porch, Lenke Kdllay shouted 
to him : 

" Do you bring good news ? " 

" I'll tell you when we are alone." And when no one 
else was within earshot he told us the news he brought. I 


remember clearly that I nodded and wondered at the same 
time why I did so. My mother has been examined. . . . 
Eight armed soldiers surrounded our cottage. Meanwhile 
detectives examined everybody in the house separately. 
It lasted two hours. They were threatening and declared 
that it was useless to try to deceive them, they were on my 
track and knew full well where I was. 

My mother showed the letter I had written to her and 
declared it had reached her from the other side of the 
Danube. That was all she knew about me. She seemed 
cool and composed all the time and she looked so haughtily 
at them that suddenly they ceased calling her comrade. 
They even took their hats off and talked to her bareheaded. 
After they had left, my sister Mary found my mother in 
her room lying on the sofa. She was in a state of collapse 
and cried bitterly. On her table lay the warrant for my 

" I cannot bear the sight of it," she said. " Put it 
somewhere where I cannot see it." 

No tears came to my eyes, and yet I was sobbing inwardly 
and unseen. I saw by their faces that they thought I was 
quite collected. 

My brothers and sisters were questioned too, principally 
Vera, who had worked so much with me in the interests 
of the Counter-revolution, and Geza. They were called to 
tlie police station. Charles Kiss also was arrested. He 
came before a Jewish monster called Juhasz, the head of 
the investigation department of the political police. The 
other officials were just like him. The office was all dirt, 
confusion and Jews. 

" They filled me with disgust and when I found myself 
unguarded I escaped." He laughed like a naughty boy who 
had played a prank. And I laughed too, though my heart 
was breaking. Then suddenly I thought, what if they 
were to arrest my mother in my place ? Or take some 
other hostage ? . . . The room reeled round me at the 

<e I must go home and give myself up," I stammered. 

All of them began to argue at this. It would be sheer 
madness, they said ; nobody would suffer for me. 

" I shall bring disaster on this house too . . .' I tried 
to find words to express my regret. Meanwhile the others 
were planning my escape. I only realised this when 
T heard that my family wanted me to fly the 

" Through Balassagyarmat ..." I heard Elisabeth 

M <! 

*3 tf 

3 p 

N a 

O H 






approve the plan. Aladar Huszar was sure to help me 
across the river Ipoly. 

It was Lenke Kallay who pointed out that it was essential 
that the servants should not know whither I went. I was 
to travel to Aszod as if I were going to Budapest, turn back 
there and go to Balassagyarmat. I shuddered with disgust : 
the station of Aszod with its red flags, the fat political 
delegate, the fiddler, the Internationale, came to my mind. 
I remembered a seat on the platform and reflected that I 
should have to sit there from seven in the morning till five 
in the afternoon. The people would be able to look at me 
without my being able to hide my face. 

As soon as I was alone these details assailed me with 
redoubled force. I leant my forehead against the window- 
pane, which felt smooth and cold, and soothed me as a cool 
hand might have done. I looked at my watch. It had 
stopped : I had forgotten to wind it up. A carriage rattled 
by under the window ; it was taking Charles Kiss to the 
station. To-morrow at the same time it would carry me, 
and I shall be alone. I had refused to go with him, my 
fate must not be shared by others : anyone arrested in my 
company would be dragged down with me to the same 
disaster. Let him go, if possible, in peace ; let him make 
his escape, my gratitude will go with him. No one has 
ever shown me greater kindness than he. 


April 15th-16th. 

MY last day in Berczel. It seems to me as if a mischievous 
hand had passed over the pleasant picture and had effaced 
it. Here and there a tinge remained. This morning the 
Bun was shining on the lawn in front of my window and in 
its golden rays the dog scampered eagerly. Afternoon 
wore quickly on, and the sun shone no longer. The ears 
of corn rustled together in the gilt clock on the wall. How 
many grains are there still in store for me ? 

Young George Kallay went for Baron Jeszenezky, whose 
advice was certain to be worth having. When he was told 
what had happened he grasped the situation at once. He 
wrote me a letter of recommendation to the dismissed 
magistrate of Aszod and took charge of my papers. 

" I shall put them up the chimney. They may not find 
them there." 

Beyond the garden on the crest of the hillocks the train 
from Aszod was passing along like a tiny, smoking toy. 
This train had been haunting me the whole day. Now it 
was gone. For this one day I need not fear the arrival of 
the bloodhounds. And if they should come to-morrow 
they will find the place empty. 

" A carriage from the station should be here by now," 
said Lenke. So they had been thinking of the same thing. 
The horn of a motor car resounded on the main road. Mrs. 
Kallay looked up from her embroidery : "I had a bad 
dream last night. I dreamt that a big motor stopped in 
front of the house and that detectives stepped out of it." 

The car had passed the garden gate, but the shock it had 
given us remained. Now I could think of one thing only ; 
the slow passage of time and the wish that it would pass 
faster. If only I were gone from here and knew that the 
people who had befriended me were no longer incurring 
danger on my behalf ! I made a miserable attempt to say 
something to that effect : " Thank you, and please forgive 
me." Henriette Apor gave me her box of matches : there 
were only a few left in it, yet it was a precious gift, for there 
had been no matches in the house for a long time. 

I never thought a human being could be so alone in the 
world. Now everybody must be for himself only. I had 



premonitions of death, and thought of those I had seen, 
whose deaths I had witnessed. I began to understand 
their feelings at the approaching struggle in which none 
could render them aid. It had been of no use to hold their 
hands, to adjust their pillows, to sit up with them. And 
now there was nobody even to hold my hand, to sit up 
with me. 

The rain began to fall in scattered drops, as though a sad 
spirit had wept upon the window panes. On that fateful 
night of March it had rained thus when I left my home and 
the streets resounded with the shout : " Long live the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat ! " These had been the 
words that brought calamity upon us. Here with the rain 
the feeling of outlawry and isolation seized me, and I faced 
a dark vindictive world. I shut my eyes, wishing I could 
escape from myself. 

I may have slumbered restlessly, tossing about, for a few 
minutes ; then I jumped up as if I had been shaken and 
began to dress with needless speed by the light of the candle. 
It was dark outside when the door of my room opened 
quietly. Elisabeth Kallay was standing there. She came 
to bid me farewell, and the action steadied me. We shook 
hands : " God bless you ! " 

When the big gate of the castle opened before me, the 
piercing cold cut me like a knife, and I shrank back. Night 
stood in front of me like a damp black wall, through which 
I must pass. For an instant I felt as if someone were 
dogging my footsteps. The gate slammed with a bang 
behind me and made me feel as if all gates had closed on me 
and as if I were excluded from everything ; a homeless, 
countryless, beggarly wanderer on earth. 

I penetrated deeper and deeper into the damp blackness, 
making my way through the garden towards the stables 
where the carriage was waiting for me. . . . The wheels 
splashed in the mud, ram poured, my shoulders and my 
skirt round my knees were soaked. Dawn was breaking 
when we reached the main road. 

From the way-side station a dark, cold little train carried 
me through the frosty morning. I may have fallen asleep 
for awhile, but I remember the last violent jerk : Asz6d ! 
It was just the same : putrid filth covered the platform. 
There, on the side of a waggon, was the inscription written 
in human excrement : " Death to the bourgeois ! " The 
station was if possible even dirtier than before. Not- 
withstanding the early hour, a sad and sleepy deputation 
with red flags was waiting there. One of them said at the 


exit that there was going to be a recruiting meeting, a 
comrade from Budapest was going to make a speech, his 
special train was already signalled. This made me hurry. 
The parcel of food given me before I started was pulled 
from under my arm, but it did not matter. My valise was 
already in the cloak-room and I hurried off towards the 
town. A red flag was floating on the Reformatory like a 
piece of raw flesh. There were flags everywhere, and 
strange big posters covered the walls. The lines on them 
appeared to represent mad knots of tangled intestines. 
When I looked more closely, my eyes made out the outlines 
of horrible soldiers, pregnant giant women, skulls, blood- 
stained workmen, bare to the waist, glaring at me. " Join 
the Red army ! " " Alcohol is dead ! " " To arms, 
Proletarians ! " 

I was so tired that everything frightened me. The bare 
trees on the sidewalk stood in a row as if waiting for victims 
to be hanged on them. The dais which stood covered with 
red under the grey sky in the middle of the market place 
looked like a scaffold and the houses seemed to watch it 
wickedly, disdainfully. The streets were covered with 
niud : the repulsive mess spread all over the place and the 
houses alone seemed to keep it within its bed. If one 
of them had been removed, it seemed that the mud would 
have overflowed the whole country. 

People lived in these surroundings, dragged themselves 
resignedly along in the black mire, surrounded by the 
monstrous posters. Nobody rebelled, they just let them- 
selves sink and drown. This resignation stretched beyond 
the town, and the whole country surrendered to its fate. 

A Jew dressed like a townsman except for his cap passed 
in a carriage, stopped, and beckoned. Two men of the 
working class ran up to him. He pointed towards the 
market and gave orders. The men listened respectfully. 
Then the man in the cap looked at me, and as his gaze 
fell on me I felt the blood rush to my head, for he turned 
back as if he knew me. It seemed to me that I too recog- 
nised this weak face, these thick, soft lips, these shapeless 
ears. Perhaps it has bowed before me over the counter 
of some Budapest bank, this puffy face which now looked 
filimy and dark as if it had been shaped out of the mud. 
But it passed from my sight. 

A number of Red soldiers were loafing in front of a low 
house. They wore flat caps ornamented with red ribbons, 
and red-bordered blouses after the Russian pattern. This 
group impressed me strangely and filled me with anxiety : 


they were not Hungarian soldiers, they were enemies. 
They were the armed servants of a foreign power, the sole 
relics of our disbanded army ! The Red army ! Hungarian 
national guards, Hungarian hussars, were you disbanded 
to become like these ? This was the first time I had seen 
the Red guards of the Soviet. 

Behind the soldiers the walls were posted with orders 
and regulations. A door was wide open and machine guns 
could be seen pointing from the disordered yard within. 
A few steps further a woman was standing on the pavement 
talking through an open window. She kept glancing 
anxiously behind her and I heard her sigh. Nowadays 
only those who look round in fear and sigh can be trusted, 
so I went up to her. 

" Can you tell me where M. Sarkany, the magistrate, 
lives ? " 

" That door there." The woman looked frightened and 
went away quickly. I entered a small house. 

" No, Comrade Sdrkdny is not in, he has left town." 

The earth seemed to give way under me. What was I 
to do ? Could they let me in, I asked. I had come from 
far and was tired. But it was no good. Then I said I had 
a message, and at this I was allowed to enter. It was still 
early in the day. I had a long time to wait. Then Mme. 
Sarkany came in. While she read Baron Jeszenszky's 
letter, she became more and more excited. 

" Then ... I see . . . That is the reason . . . the 
Reds have been looking this morning for a lady and a 

I thought of Charles Kiss. Was it possible they were 
looking for us ? 

" You cannot stay here," said Mme. Sarkany. " The 
house is watched. Bokanyi has come from Budapest and 
is going to give an address in the market place. There are 
journalists with him. They are going to be quartered here 
and they are sure to recognise you." She turned very pale. 
41 No, you cannot stay here. The best thing you can do 
is to take the next train and travel on to Hatvan." 

The instinct of self-preservation rebelled in me so that 
I was astonished at the heat with which I replied : " That 
would be to run straight into the prison gate. Why does 
everybody send me nearer Budapest, when the train is the 
most likely place where I could be recognised ? " 

" Here you are not in safety for a minute." 

" If I could get a carriage ..." Then a sudden idea 
came to me. " I could go to Iklad, to Countess Raday . . ." 


Mme. Sdrkany nodded and left the room at once. How 
long she was away I could not tell, I only know that she 
came back once more and told me to get ready as there 
would be a carriage for me presently. I was very cold, and 
asked for a cup of tea. Then I hesitated before making my 
next request. Could I have a few matches ? In great 
haste she gave me some. " Be quick ... Be quick ! " 

The door was torn open and an old lady stood on the 
threshold. Her face was grey and she clasped her head 
between her hands. 

" It is too late. The Reds have taken the carriage ! " 

I went out all the same. Three soldiers stood near a cart 
and I pressed money into the hand of one of them. He 
looked at it stealthily so that the others should not see. I 
implored them to let me have the cart. I did not want to 
go far, not half an hour, and I would send it back. . . . 
While they were debating the matter I suddenly jumped 
into the cart and the driver whipped up his horses. " To 
the station, for my luggage ! " 

The soldiers shouted insults after us but the noise of the 
wheels drowned their words. The cart was covered with 
liquid manure. There was a hole in one of the bottom 
boards and through it I could watch the road running past. 
I shuddered ; once more I had to cross this awful town. 

At the station I snatched my valise. " Be quick ! 
Drive on ! " Then suddenly I caught sight of the mud- 
faced man with the cap. The coachman looked back at 
me and seemed to understand my trouble ; he gave the 
horses their heads and the rickety little cart flew over the 
sea of mud. The puffy face looked after me, but we turned 
off into a side street and the low houses and closed shops 
were quickly left behind. Astonished faces peeped out 
of the windows : I must have looked rather quaint in my 
town dress on a manure cart ! Motor-cars passed from 
the opposite direction, probably carrying agitators from 
Budapest. Nowadays one only sees Jews in motor-cars. 
Instinctively I covered my face with my handkerchief. 
The road passed under the walls of a fine old castle : its 
outlines appeared for an instant against the grey sky from 
among the trees of the park. It was the only spot of beauty 
in the sea of mud. 

" The one who lived there committed suicide," the driver 
said, pointing with his whip towards the castle. The 
board put across the cart which served me as a seat was 
jumping to and fro. I caught hold of the edges of the cart 
and leant forward. 


" Who lived there ? " 

" It used to be a boarding school. Little ladies were 
taught in it." 

I asked for more details. 

" Well, you see," he said, weighing his words, " when 
the new order of things came, a comrade was sent down 
here. He was no older than fifteen and he was a Jew, the 
beggar was. He used to declaim to the school children in 
the market place ..." 

I asked him to go on. 

" I am ashamed to speak of these things," the man 
grumbled, " but, with your leave, that son of a bitch used 
to explain aloud there in the market-place how children 
were produced. He also said that one need not obey one's 
parents. He also said that it did not matter if girfs went 
wrong, it was only the priests who pretended that it was 
a sin. No more need to worry about bastards, the State 
would look after them." He pushed his hat back on his 
head and expectorated violently. " Damn his eyes ! No 
more God, no more honour ! Here in the boarding school 
he said the same thing as in the market-place. He 
encouraged the little misses to make love freely with the 
boys. He had pictures to show them how it was done. 
The headmistress just wept and wrung her hands. At last 
she did for herself." 

The cart rattled. Something seemed to shake within me 
too. I looked down and saw the road through the hole in 
the bottom : the earth receded rapidly under the cart. 
When I looked up at last the town was no longer in sight, 
I had left the execution ground. 

Rain now began to fall anew, but I did not heed it, for a 
fresh breeze was blowing over the fields, and those whom I 
met, peasants on carts or on foot, were different from those 
in town. A village came in view, a house, a garden full 
of flowers. The cart entered the yard of Iklad, and a 
girl came running towards me from the corridor : 

" They are not at home ! Since they have been taken 
to Aszod they have not been allowed to come home." 

I was very cold and very tired : " Might I stay here a 
little till the train for Balassagyarmat comes ? " 

" Please don't ! " exclaimed the frightened girl. " We 
are expecting the Communists every minute. They are 
coming to requisition things." 

" Of course, it does not matter ..." And I thought 
of the heavy clang with which the gate of Berczel had 
closed behind me. All gates were closed as this one now. 


" Let us go," I said to the coachman. 

By this time the girl had recovered her senses. " You 
might go to the house of the railway guard, and wait for 
the train there. Uncle Nagy, the guard, is a kind man, he'll 
let you." And she added something about bringing me 
some dinner when the Communists were gone. 

Under centenarian trees, on the other side of the road, 
the guard's house was hidden beside the roadway. A 
fowl-house, a little stack of wood, a garden with quaint 
little flower-beds ... A tall elderly man, dressed in the 
blouse of the railway guards, came towards me. He 
touched his cap and asked me what I wanted. The office 
was closed, the train would not arrive till five ... So 
he was going to send me away too ... I felt again how 
tired I was, wet to the bone, and ravenously hungry. I 
spoke slowly, so as to gain time and to be able to stayer 
a little longer under a roof, out of the rain, and also to 
nurse my hopes a little. But the man did not send me 
away. He shrugged his shoulders : 

" Of course you are welcome to stay here if you like. 
But you won't find it over comfortable." 

I laughed from sheer joy, laughed aloud. I could stay, 
and it was my host who apologised ! Tears came to my 
eyes : comfort ? He did not realise what royal comfort 
he offered me. A corner where I would withdraw out of 
sight, a nook whence I should not be driven, a seat which 
is not drenched with rain and on which I might rest. 

His wife came in too, a kindly little woman, aged before 
her time. She invited me into the room and wiped a chair 
with her apron, then began splitting wood in the kitchen. 
When the fire had burnt up she opened the door so as to 
let in the warmth. 

Warmth ! As it slowly thawed me it also thawed my 
heart. At first my mind remained inactive, I was just 
happy. Then I began slowly to take notice of the things 
around me. Under the low roof, above the piled- up bed, 
a text was hanging in a gaudy frame. I read it over and 
over again during my long wait, and yet I cannot remember 
it. Oleographs and family portraits hung on the walls, 
the women sitting in stiff poses, the men with long, waxed 
moustaches. A fretwork basket stood on the chest of 
drawers. Everything shone in a reddish, warm light. A red 
piece of cloth served as a curtain over the window. And 
as I sat on my hard chair the guard's hut seemed slowly to 
become strangely familiar to me, as did the room with its 
cheap ornaments, as if I had been there before. But then 


the house stood in another landscape, far away, on the 
Carso, amidst bleak rock, on a wild mountain. Then I 
was young, and writing my first novel : Stonecrop. That 
other house, to which I had given the youth of my creative 
power, stood between two tunnels. And it dawned upon 
me that perhaps there was no such thing as hazard, that 
even little guards' houses return to you the love you have 
once bestowed upon them. 

Something caught my eye, I had not noticed it before 
a calendar hung on the whitewashed wall and I read in the 
dim, reddish light : April 16, 1919. That recalled me to 
reality. Carriages passed on the road coming from the 
direction of Aszod stolen carriages, and in them sat 
suspicious-looking people, Jews in fur coats, and they all 
drove into the courtyard of the castle. I watched them 
from behind the red curtains. They entered the house 
noisily : was it not all theirs ? And the windows of 
the castle stared in rigid astonishment out into the 
garden, as if they wondered what was happening behind 

Hours passed by. In the castle yard the Communists 
were packing up, taking whatever they fancied. I sat 
quietly in my room and looked out through the window. 
Sometimes a noise made me draw back, then I returned 
to my post of observation. It may have been about noon 
when a hand- driven trolley car arrived from Aszod. Voices 
issued commands in the small office and steps were heard 
all over the house. I held my breath in alarm. At last 
they went, and silence ensued. Dinner was ready in the 
kitchen : there was a smell of boiled potatoes. I was very 
hungry and the good woman offered me some, but there 
were so few on the little earthenware dish. " No, thank 
you, it is too early." 

Later on the girl sent a message from the castle that the 
Communists had eaten or carried away everything eatable 
from the kitchen and the larder. She could send me no 
food, but would I write my name down so that she might 
inform the Countess when she came home ? I remembered 
the alias Elisabeth Kallay had selected for me to hide my 
identity when I came to Balassagyarmat : ' Elisabeth 
Foldvary ' . . . I repeated it to myself several times. 
It seemed funny that henceforth this should be the name 
by which I should be known. The guard's wife tore the 
date from the calendar and told me I could write it down 
on that, but I did not do so, and she took no notice. She 
came and went, working in the house like an ant, tidied 


up her kitchen, then took the red curtain from the window 
and began to wash the window panes. 

The rain had stopped and a cold wind whistled and 
howled, driving the clouds before it. In the house the 
signal bells hummed all the while. The guard came in, 
rolling a grimy little signal flag in his hands, and spoke to 
his wife about the Communists. If this went on much 
longer they would carry off everything from the castle. He 
spoke to me too, and told me that when the people from 
Aszod had arrested Count Raday he had been compelled 
to wash the Jews' cars in the street. " But he gave it 
them ! He turned up the sleeves of his shirt and ordered 
the scoundrels to watch him, saying ' now you shall learn 
how to do this job properly ! ' The guard laughed to 
himself : the story pleased him immensely : " But then 
the men of Iklad got out their scythes, and the next two 
villages joined them. They were going to fetch the Count 
and the Countess with six horses, because each village in- 
sisted on supplying at least two horses for his carriage. . ." 

Suddenly the guard went out. I saw his cap in front of 
the window and he held the signal flag in his hand. With 
a great clatter a clumsy goods train passed over the rails. 
Soldiers with red ribbons were escorting it and shouted at 
him as they passed. A chalked inscription ornamented 
the black waggons : ' Long live Bela Kun ! Long live 
the Red army ! ' 

" The vagabonds, they are conveying arms ! And as 
for the Directory of Aszod, they are a lot of cruel Jew boys. 
The people live in terror of them. Even at night the 
inhabitants have no rest. During the war the Czech 
deserters were kept in cotton wool at the aeroplane factory. 
Now they are the greatest Communist heroes. They steal 
more than all the others together." Then he scowled. 
" But things will be different soon ! It is no good giving 
us a lot of their worthless bank-notes. They won't take 
us in. We railwaymen will have something to say in the 
matter ! " 

The telephone rang in the office : Aszod on the line, my 
train was signalled. My lassitude vanished suddenly, but 
as I stepped out of the little house I felt as if a veil had been 
torn from my face, and the exposure seemed physically 

Slowly, hissing and panting, the train approached. 
People were sitting on top of the waggons, people hung 
from the steps, and even the buffers had their riders. I 
tried to get up but was pushed back. I ran along the 


train but not a door would open, for inside the people were 
pressed against them. I ran on and on, saying to myself 
' anywhere, anyhow will do.' I struggled with another 
door-handle. The train started. What on earth shall I 
do if I lose it ? The guard came to my rescue at last, but 
boxes and trunks blocked the door. Someone pushed me 
forward, someone else pulled. My bag hit me in the back. 
And then I could move no more and the train carried me 
away. \ 

I had got into an old condemned carriage and an icy wind 
blew unhindered through its unglazed windows. People 
were crowding against one another on the narrow floor 
women, soldiers, an officer, a dirty fat man. Wedged 
between them, I stood on one leg, the only foothold I could 
secure, indeed I was practically suspended by the pressure 
of their fetid bodies. But as things were I thought myself 
lucky. I had to take my ticket on the train, and when the 
conductor forced his way to our compartment he asked 
me for my trade-union permit. So now they were going 
to make me get off again, I thought. I pretended to look 
for it in my bag, but the officer who was crushed up against 
me spoke to the conductor and shewed him some paper : 
" make the ticket out for two." The conductor did so and 
the officer pocketed tickets for himself and for me. I paid 
him the fare, he too was going to Balassagyarmat. 

Suddenly I found myself standing on both feet, and 
thus I noticed that the crowd had diminished. At 
every small station someone got off and there were no new 
passengers. Now one could look through the window into 
the corridor of the carriage preceding ours. A young man 
in a fur coat sat there smoking ; he wore a soft hat and his 
face was flushed with the cold. For a time I looked at him 
indifferently ; then suddenly I began to feel uneasy. I 
didn't want to see him, yet I felt my eyes attracted by 
him. My apprehensions steadily increased : I was angry 
with myself, it was all imagination ! But if this man 
should be searching for me ? . . . 

We reached the station which serves Berczel : I had 
left it twelve hours earlier, in the morning. How tired I 
had become since then ! The door of the next carriage 
opened suddenly and the man in the fur coat jumped on 
to the platform and strode towards the stationmaster's 
office. He was searching for me ! I was as convinced of 
it as if somebody had told me. He was going to Berczel 
and he would not find me there ! I felt incredibly happy. 
He had but to turn his head . . . Good-night, comrade ! 


Good luck ! All sorts of mocking words came to my mind 
and I felt like making faces at him. 

Passengers elbowed their way past me and several got 
out. The door remained open and the cold streaming in 
brought me to my senses. I turned my back to the door 
and looked at the path wending its way across the green 
squares of fields and meadows. Suddenly I felt as if 
something had struck me on the chest : the man in the short 
fur coat was standing in the door looking at me 1 He was 
resting his chin in his hand and held his head a little on 
one side as if he were trying to remember something. 
Every drop of blood left my face. Without thinking, 
instinctively, in self-defence, I turned to the opposite 
window. But I could not see the landscape, everything 
was blurred before my eyes. 

How long did it last ? I only know that I felt as if 
something had vanished behind me. The minutes seemed 
to gather into masses and fall into hollow space. I felt 
I was falling with them. Good God, how long is this to 
last ? Let him clutch me by the shoulders, if he likes, let 
him arrest me, but let something happen, let the suspense 
come to an end ! Then I began to take heart : after all, 
what does it matter now ? At least let the scoundrels see 
that I am not afraid. I pulled myself up, as high as I could , 
and forced a smile to my lips. 

The train started and the shock banged the door to. 
Was it possible ? For an instant I felt the reckless delight 
of salvation sweep through me : I breathed freely : I 
scolded and cheered myself mentally. Poor fool, how 
could you have such delusions ! Then the whole 
carriage reeled before my eyes : the man in the 
short fur coat was sitting on a box next to me ! He was 
sitting there with his knees drawn up like a mischie- 
vous imp. 

In spite of myself my jaw began to tremble : I was 
afraid with a fear I had never known before, and notwith- 
standing the cold the sweat rolled down my face. But 
still I managed to keep myself erect and presently forced 
myself once more to smile. All sorts of possibilities coursed 
madly through my head. If I were arrested nobody would 
know of my fate, and the one-eyed monster into whose 
hands I was to be delivered could dispose of me without 
difficulty. My mother did not know that I was travelling, 
the Kallays whom I had left, the Huszars to whom I was 
going, would each be ignorant that I was not safely with 
the other. One could invoke the Entente Mission on 


behalf of prisoners at Budapest, but if I were trapped now, 
nobody would seek me until too late. . . . 

The man was still sitting on the box. He rolled a cigarette, 
blew out the smoke and now and then looked up at me. I 
shall never forget his eyes. Some travellers got into the 
train at the next station and the corridor again became 
crowded. Two men who wore red buttons in their coat 
lapels waxed enthusiastic over the revolution : " That 
we should have lived to see it ! " One could guess that 
they were speaking from fear. The man on the box 
nodded. How contemptible were these people who were 
Hungarians and had sold themselves to the foreigners ; 
the whole thing was degrading and dirty ; my pride revolted 
at it. To be arrested by this scum ; miserably, without an 
attempt to escape ; to wait for fate like one paralysed, 
unable to move ! My passivity suddenly weighed on me 
like a great shame. I grasped my bag and forced my way 
through the crowd into the next compartment. There 
too the passengers stood jammed between the seats. Next 
to me was wedged a man whose face I remembered vaguely. 
He had a thin, fair moustache and wandering eyes, and 
kept making notes in a book, tearing out the pages and 
going on writing. However, I soon gave up watching him, 
for I noticed that the man in the short fur coat who was 
sitting in the corridor got up every now and then and 
looked into the compartment as if he were watching me. 
I waited for an opportune moment, and when he sat down 
on his box and was out of sight of me, I snatched up my 
bag and went further along the train. I had no plan, I 
only wanted to go on, get away, do something. It might 
succeed. I might escape at the next station. I might 
jump off the train. 

As I was moving away from the fair-haired scribbling 
man, he suddenly pushed something between the handle 
of my bag and my hand. Then I remembered how curi- 
ously he had looked at me and had then written in his book 
and torn the page out. I thought I felt a scrap of paper in 
my palm, but I went on quickly from carriage to carriage, 
each more crowded than the other, between human bodies, 
boxes, trunks, baskets. I was pushed about, handled 
roughly, and sworn at. Whenever anybody looked at me 
I felt as if my face were being skinned. W T hy did they all 
look at me so familiarly as if they had seen me before ? 
Why had I not got a face like everybody else ? I pushed 
on. Suddenly I could go no further, I had come to the 
end of the train, to the last carriage. There was an empty 


place near a broken window ; all the sparks of the engine 
were blown into it by the wind, so nobody wanted it. I 
withdrew into that corner and covered my face with a 
handkerchief ; it protected me and hid me. Nobody paid 
any attention to me so I opened the little paper in my hand. 
A sentence was written on it in irregular halting lines. I 
remember every word : 

" A warrant against you, with your portrait, is circulating 
here. Escape. If caught they will do for you." 

Was it death, or was it just fear I felt then ? I carefully 
tore the paper into little bits and threw them out of the 
window. Everything was in a haze ; there were people 
in the compartment, I could hear voices, but everything 
seemed remote ... I was alone with myself. About an 
hour may have passed, perhaps more : I liked to think 
that time was flying, I liked my little corner, although the 
wind blew through it and cut my face like a knife. My 
limbs ached on the hard seat and I was ravenously hungry: 
since last night I had had nothing but a cup of tea. Sud- 
denly everything became dark, and soot-laden smoke filled 
the compartment. Before I grasped what it was the chance 
had passed. A tunnel ... If I had thought of it earlier I 
might have . . . Nonsense, I should have broken my neck. 

The train stopped : we were on the open track. There 
was a deep ditch along the embankment I might get off 
here. The passengers crowded to the windows and some- 
one shouted from outside : " It's not likely that the train 
will be allowed to enter Balassagyarmat. The Czechs are 
shelling the station." I made myself as small as possible 
in my corner. It was nonsense, all nonsense . . . Then 
there was another station. Red soldiers everywhere. I 
saw the man in the short fur coat again ; he was running 
about the station, then stopped and stared towards the 
place where we had pulled up in the open. He shook his 
head and seemed to be swearing. Was he looking for me ? 
At all events he jumped back into the train. 

Night was now falling and we had to wait a long time in 
the station, for the engine-driver had gone to an inn for 
his supper. A passenger said that they had sent for him 
but that he had replied : " Let them get up steam 

It was night before we started again, and rain began to 
fall. Slowly light began to stream towards us through 
the clammy darkness, and people in the compartment got 
ready to get out. A voice said " Balassagyarmat." I 
stood near the door, opened it suddenly, threw out my bag 


and jumped. The other doors opened a good deal later, 
when I was already running through the exit towards the 
town. Nobody asked me for my ticket, or took any notice 
of me. I reached a paling, overshadowed by a huge walnut 
tree, leant against it, and waited till everybody had passed, 
people and carriages. For an instant I caught sight of 
the man in the short fur coat going towards the town. 
Then the lights of the station went out, and I was alone in 
the dark at the foot of the tree. 

It was over ! And yet the terror remained. I still felt 
that strange will searching for me in the dark, saw the hand 
industriously groping for me, missing me over and over 
again. It had not yet found me, but perhaps later on ... 
Instinctively I ducked in my hiding-place. The hand 
missed me. It had missed me till now, but every time it 
seemed to get nearer its goal. The watching motor car 
in front of the doorless house in Stonemason Street ; the 
Red soldiers in Aszod ; the man with the dark puffy face 
and the one in the short fur coat. . . . Every time the 
hand had been nearer. One lucky movement and it would 
have got me. It had been so yesterday, it might be so 
to-morrow, but at any rate it had missed me to-day and I 
was still free. 

I looked round and my eyes became accustomed to the 
dark. Where was I to go ? A broad street overshadowed 
by trees led from the station to the town. Should I follow 
that ? I retained a confused memory of the instructions 
Elisabeth Kallay had given me. Soldiers came towards 
me, then a few people, at last a little boy. I resolved to 
confide in the latter. " Will you help me to carry 
my bag ?" 

The boy caught hold of it but it was too heavy for him, 
so we carried it together. After all, that had not been my 
object. What I really wanted was to find the house of 
Aladar Huszar. The boy was not quite sure of it, but he 
led bravely on through the rain. We left gardens and 
small villas behind us and came in sight of a church by 
dripping trees and a soaking sandy road. A woman was 
standing in one of the doorways : She put us right : " The 
end of the town, the last house but one." New anxieties 
now took hold of me : up till the present I had only worried 
about finding my way, and now that I had found it, it 
occurred to me that they might have left the town. Aladar 
Huszar had the reputation of being a counter-revolutionary 
and was suspected by the new power. His wife was the 
president of the county branch of the Federation of 


Hungarian Women, and she had been attacked by the 
local Socialist-Communist papers. 

The boy passed through an iron gate and we went up a 
few steps till we came to a door with glass panes. I was 
very nervous. I was going to ask for shelter from people 
who themselves were threatened. I felt painfully ashamed 
of myself. 

" There is the bell ! " the boy said. Yet I still hesitated. 

Only those who have stood on a stranger's threshold, 
doubting the quality of their welcome, can appreciate my 

The boy deposited the bag, asked for his money and ran 

The ringing of the bell broke the silence of the house, 
and the sudden sound frightened me. I imagined the 
uneasiness caused to those within. In these times even a 
knock in broad daylight is enough to cause alarm. 

Rapid stops approached from the further end of the long 
corridor and a frightened maid asked me what I wanted. 
" Will you say that Elisabeth Foldvdry has arrived ? " 
Doors opened ; there was a ray of light, and in its beam a 
fine setter ran barking towards me, followed by Aladar 
Huszar. I had only once seen him before, but I recognised 
him at onoe ; his fair head and his broad shoulders showed 
up clearly against the lamp light. For an instant he 
looked at me searchingly : " Elisabeth Foldvary ? . . ." 

By now we were alone, and I whispered my real name to 
him. He jerked his head in surprise. " We were told 
yesterday that you had escaped to Switzerland." 

" Help me to get across the Ipoly 1 " 

" There's no hurry, we will discuss it ; now come inside 
quickly." He picked up my bag and we went into the 
house as if we were old friends. We crossed the small hall 
and entered a room in which the light was reflected from 
the glan.s doors of high bookcases, and comfortable furniture 
stood on oriental carpets. I was met by a remarkably 
beautiful young woman. Her forehead was like marble and 
her eyebrows met over her big blue eyes shaded by dark 
eyelashes. Her face was cold and her features seemed 
nearly rigid. I felt anxious : What was she going to say ? 
She seemed neither astonished nor nervous, though she had 
lately been told I had escaped abroad, and she behaved as 
if it had been the most natural thing in the world for a 
Granger wanted by the police to drop in on them in the 
n id die of the night. She gave her orders quietly, calmly : 
We will make up a bed here in the library ; we have no 




other room. Red officers are quartered on the first floor. 
They wanted to plant Communists in our two spare rooms, 
BO we put our old coachman there." 

I leant wearily against a book-case : the room was going 
round. Then they gave me hot food, and I could detect 
in the sympathetic expression of Huszar that hunger, 
sleepless nights, cold and suffering had left their marks 
upon my face. My dress was hanging on me and my hands 
trembled. The children, two little girls and a boy, came 
in. They were told I was a relation of theirs. In a few 
minutes I watched them being put to bed. 

Outside, the rain was falling and the world was full of 
Red soldiers, detectives, hatred, misery, dirt, fear, humilia- 
tion. In here the little children were praying in their 
long white nightgowns and over their bed a tiny red, white, 
and green flag was dangling like an emblem of faith. The 
electric lights went out : it was eleven o'clock. The house 
became quiet. We stayed up for a time round a single 
candle. Words were unnecessary between us. We all 
felt equally the terrible misfortune of our country : the 
sufferings of each of us were due to the same cause. 

" Many good friends have fled this way," said Aladar 

" Will you help me over, too ? " 

He shook his head. " The river is in flood and the 
bridges are guarded. It cannot be managed yet. You 
must stay here ; it is only a question of days. Colonial 
troops have been seen near by and my men tell me that 
there are some at one of the bridges. To-day we heard 
that British troops had arrived. They say there are thirty 
thousand of them. The French are in Arad. They may 
come here this very night. W T ait for the downfall of the 

I was tired, dead tired, but in spite of my exhaustion his 
words refreshed me as though they heralded the coming 
of dawn. It seemed strange not to be sent away. They 
did not want me to go. I should be allowed to rest a little. 
I felt extreme gratitude but could find no words in which 
to express it. 



I THOUGHT my excitements had come to an end, but 
ill-fortune has looked me in the face again. It has just 
glanced at me, but has not seized me yet. And now, how 
long shall I be here ? Shall I be driven away, or will this 
be the scene of my capture ? 

I can no longer see the end of my road. I never seem to 
know when I shall be able to put a full-stop at the end of 
my sentence. It makes no difference. If my diary must 
remain a fragment, fragments can bear witness. Every 
clod plays its part in a land-slide, and there is some frag- 
ment of the great tragedy in every particle that composes it. 

When I woke this morning it took me a long time to 
realise where I was. The daylight was reflected from the 
glass doors of a bookcase, and I heard the sound of a reed- 
flute. The primitive melodies of the cow-herd mingled 
with the trampling of the cattle. But where was I ? 
Something gripped my heart and forced the truth from 
it. A fugitive, an outlaw ! I looked out of the window : 
cows were coming down the little street on the outskirts 
of the town. Everything was different from my surround- 
ings of yesterday. The house opposite was indifferently, 
ignorantly looking at its reflection in the puddles. Some- 
where in that direction the railway station must lie, and 
the road to it crosses the square in front of the town-hall. 
I had a good idea what this square must be like. A big 
market with arcades, an old fountain, the old town-hall 
with its tower . . . Yes, it must be like that. 

" Good morning ! " The children's clear voices called 
me from the next room. Breakfast was ready on a glass- 
covered verandah, opening on to the back garden. The old 
flower-bed under the sprouting ornamental trees had been 
replaced by vegetables, bufc shrubs remained, and beyond 
the fence were trees, shingled roofs, little gardens. Aspen 
trees, willows and graceful, slender poplars were reflected 
from a soft, brilliant mirror the Ipoly in flood. On the 
other side of the river were the vineyards where the Czechs 
were encamped. For two months their guns have been 
trained on the town. 

I mentioned my notes ; Huszar gave me some paper and 



a pencil. Then the front door bell rang. Who could it be ? 
It was unusual to have visitors at that hour. Gregory, the 
faithful old coachman, put his head in. 

" Two armed Reds are here ! " he exclaimed. 

I clasped my hands in terror. Mrs. Huszdr turned 
white to the lips : 

" What are we to do if they are after you ? The town 
is full of detectives." She went out and when she came 
back she was laughing. " I was never so frightened in my 
life. They asked me : ' Does Comrade Huszar live here ? ' 
Then one of them made an awful face and added : ' We 
have been informed that there is a er library in the 
house.' I really thought they had found you. And all 
they had discovered was our library ! " 

It was a good library ; I spent a long time among its 
Tolumes, and found them representative of Hungarian history 
. and of the development of Socialism. I determined to study. 

" You'd better write a book," said Mrs. Huszar. " When 
we have got over these times, let people know what we have 
gone through." 

April 18th. 

GOOD Friday. At the feet of Christ's cross, under the 
black sky, on the Red land, Hungary has been crucified 
among the nations. 

We hoped that an attack on the town would be 
delivered this night by the Czechs. It sounds sheer mad- 
ness, and yet it was so. It was different last year, when 
Kdrolyi had opened our frontiers and our predatory 
neighbours could walk in undisturbed on our unconscious, 
shackled towns. Balassagyarmat was the only one that 
rose to arms and drove out the intruders. 

Hideous change ! We are waiting for the Czechs ! And 
this day all those who are Hungarians in the republic of 
the Jewish tyrants are waiting in suspense. 

April 19th. 

THE night has passed. At dawn only a few stray rifle 
bullets whistled over and into the Ipoly, disturbing the 
surface of the water for a moment, but the river soon 
resumed its smoothness and everything is now as it was 
yesterday. There is no change, and our deliverers still 
hesitate. But within our shamefully constricted frontiers 
the outlines of the picture become clear, and the under- 


mining of society goes on with devilish speed. The news- 
papers which reached us this day publish an incredible 
order the sixty-second within three weeks. 

" The Revolutionary Cabinet considers it its duty to 
revise the procedure of such criminal proceedings as 
have been instituted before the proclamation of the Soviet, 
so as to save from punishment those Proletarians who were 
called before the tribunals by the old order in the interest 
of capitalism alone, and, on the other hand, to punish 
severely, those who have sinned against the working 

This order is without precedent in the history of human 
law. It destroys at a blow the progress of centuries. It 
endows the privileged and only recognised class, the 
Proletarians, with the monopoly of crime. 

Even in the administration of justice, Bolshevism stands 
on the basis of class hatred and serves the class war. If 
the Proletarian has robbed a member of the middle-classes, 
he cannot be punished ; if he has murdered a bourgeois, 
he cannot be condemned, because his actions were simply 
acts of self-defence against the tyranny of capitalism. 

And after abolishing crime as such, it proceeds to the 
destruction of its traces. All records are burnt in stacks, 
and the files of criminal proceedings which might involve 
those in power to-day are made away with. Bela Kun 
embezzled the funds of a workmen's benevolent society. 
The papers of the prosecution have been burnt and the 
leader of the Soviet has purged his honour in the ashes. 

Once the Roman Empire of the West, Byzantium, Friul, 
Saxony, all paid tribute to the old Hungary. The profiles 
of conquered Emperors, of Caesars and of Princes, minted 
in gold, flowed into the Danubian province of Hungary, 
and later on the harvests of peace sent their surplus into 
the treasury of the land, the fruits of valour and of work. 

To-day the ruling power burgles safes. Protected by 
its ordinances, it steals jewels, gold and precious stones, 
proclaiming, " No compensation is due for property 
delivered to the State." Everything that can be exchanged 
for foreign gold is confiscated. Even stamp collections 
which are worth more than two thousand crowns are taken, 
the happiness of little schoolboys, the hobby of collectors. 

The head of the Directorium of Balassagyarmat returned 
yesterday from Budapest. Huszar heard him relating 
proudly in the street that he had spoken with Bela Kun 
himself. The position of the Soviet Republic has been 
considerably strengthened abroad and at home, and the 


economic conditions are excellent. Bela Kun has declared 
that he has such a reserve in jewels, pearls, medals and art 
treasures that there was no bourgeois Government in the 
world that could compete with him. Negotiations axe on 
foot for the disposal, in Holland, of these treasures. Huszar's 
next statement filled me with shame and anger. Bela Kun 
was baTgaining with foreign antiquaries for the sale ol the 
Holy Hungarian Crown ! 

It is said they offered him 170,000 crowns for it. The 
stones are second-rate, the gold is thin, there is just the 
historical value left. 170,000 crowns for the past glories 
of the Kings of Hungary ! That is their value to-day. 

The Cabinet is still expectant : will anybody bid any 
more ? And if one day there is a higher bidder, Bt'Ja Kun 
and Szamuelly, Comrade Landler and the others, will open 
the iron-bound chest in the Coronation Chapel, lean over 
it, finger it, and the Jews will take Europe's oldest royal 
crown* to the auction room. Will they have time to do 
it ? I thought of what the president of the Balaesagyannat 
Directorate had said. They all talk as if they were to last 
for ever. Meanwhile, the other bank of the Ipoly, the hill 
with the vineyards, keeps silent. 

If things were to remain like this for long ! The idea 
tortures me incessantly and forces me to think of my 
unhappy position. My hosts are hospitable, kind, touch- 
ingly so, but have I the right to accept their generosity ? 
Aladar Huszar has given up his office, he declines to serve 
the Soviet. His wife's jewels have been seized, they have 
no food coupons. What is consumed to-day cannot be 
replaced to-morrow. Every gift means a privation for 
them. And what if I should be found and arrested in 
their house ! There are ten years of penal servitude in 
store for those who shelter me. I must do something. If 
there is no change presently I shall have to go. Have the 
waters of the Ipoly receded during the night ? Perhaps 
the Czechs are not guarding the banks any longer ? Perhaps 
the bridge is open ? 

" Let us wait," said Mrs. Huszar. ' ' We confidently expect 
an attack to-night, and that would save you." 

" Let us go and have a look. Maybe ..." 

We walked slowly along the bank of the river. The air 
was clear and fresh and the wind rippled the flooded waters. 
A woman came along the road with a hamper over her arm 
and greeted us. 

* A photograph of St. Stephen's crown (the Holy Hungarian 
crown) is reproduced at page 162 of Part I of this work. 


" Do you come from the other bank ? " 

The woman nodded : " We have a little field over there. 
But in future, from to-day, the Czechs have refused to let 
me pass. They shoot at anyone who approaches the 
bridge. They are preparing something." 

As she passed on we looked at each other and then 
towards the bridge. That road then existed no longer. 
The barbed wire in the middle marks the frontier. Reds 
and Czechs stand on either bridgehead. The tree which 
had fallen across the river near the gardens, the living bridge 
over which fugitives had quite recently crawled across, is 
now under water in mid-stream. The Ipoly is like a sea. 

The silver stream is flowing over the green velvet of the 
inundated fields and meadows. The willows on the banks 
draw a veil over the silver. Against the lovely blue back- 
ground of the distant hills, the poplars look like rows of 
furled flags. All nature seems in ecstasy. Birds sing in 
the dazzling sunshine. 

A cart rattled behind us full of soldiers, carrying bread 
for distribution among the guards in the villages. It 
passed us quickly and disappeared at the turning of the 
road, but the smell of bread remained in the air. 

It is the Saturday before Easter. The churches are 
watched by the mercenaries of the new power and I must 
avoid their eyes. Only the banks of the river and the 
main road are free to me. And yet I am in church. Under 
the long cupola of the branches, the mild winds of spring 
sound like an organ, recalling to me the eternal mysteries 
of the Resurrection. 

April 20th. 

EVENTS cast their shadows before them, and as they 
arrive they enter the shadow. 

Our little street on the outskirts of the town was unusually 
restless this morning. As the bells recalled the memories 
of past Easters to my mind, the neighbouring villagers 
were passing under my window in picturesque costumes 
on their way to church. I could hear the sound of foot- 
steps, the rustle of petticoats, even a threat in the loud 
voices of the young men. A few of them wore red and 
white flowers with green leaves stuck in their hats. 

On the other side of the street, soldiers were leaning out 
of the window of the Reds' guard-room. A few were loafing 
about in the street. They looked suspiciously at the 
peasants and as soon as these had passed they talked 
among themselves excitedly. 

iW'S DIARY 89 

One soldier rang our front-door bell and insisted on being 
given a suit of clothes, as he was going to a wedding. 
Gentlefolks had plenty to give him. To give more weight 
to his claim he began to boast his prowess : " The attack 
is expected at Uszok. We are going to wipe out the Czechs 
and unite with the Russians, who have already crossed the 
Carpathians." He took what he had exacted under his 
arm and hurried off. 

When Aladar Huszar came home he spoke more 
cautiously than usual. 

" There is much ado among the comrades. On the 16th 
the Roumanians attacked between the Szamos and the 
Maros. The Red International Regiment fled at the first 
shot. How the Russian and Viennese Jews ran ! They 
stormed the trains in their panic, and left the poor Szeklers 
to their fate, even before the Roumanians had developed 
their attack." 

We looked at each other : we had never imagined it 
like this. Even when our sufferings seemed most unbear- 
able we would have wished it otherwise. Where are the 
British and the French troops ? 

" The members of the local Directorate suppress the 
facts," said Huszar, after a long silence. " At any rate it 
looks suspicious that they should again talk so much about 
the World Revolution. The World Revolution is always 
to the front when their own affairs are on the decline. 
Their newspapers are full of it ; Italy and France are 
seething. Soviet rule has become more powerful in Munich. 
The proclamation of the Soviet in Vienna is only a question 
of hours." 

How much of this is true ? How much lies ? Aladar 
Huszdr began to roll cigarettes. He offered me one : they 
always offer, always give, and I am for ever asking and 
thanking. A match ? I should have liked to ask for one, 
but could not say the word, so I just held the cigarette in 
my hand. Mrs. Huszar nodded to her husband : " Give 
her a light ..." He jumped up and went to the writing- 
table and brought back a small cigarette lighter in his 
palm. " Here is a little Easter present for you." 

His wife let her sewing fall into her lap and looked at me. 
<J Well done," she said, "I hate seeing you obliged to ask for 
every trifle, when you yourself have given up everything." 

At that moment I saw behind the lovely cold face the 
warm heart it endeavoured to hide. 

Huszdr took his hat. " I will go to the railway station 
for a newspaper." He seemed restless. 


" What has happened ? " asked his wife. 

He hesitated for a moment. " The Directorate has 
received a secret order by telephone. The Cabinet has 
decided that hostages are to be taken." 

A cloud seemed to pass over the brightness outside, and 
I felt suddenly cold. This news was the most terrible we 
had yet heard. Hostages ! The foreign race is going to 
guarantee its life with Hungarian lives ! 

A very little time seemed to have passed before the door 
Hew open and Aladar Huszar stood there, his eyes shining 
and his face drawn with excitement. 

" They are done for ! " He was so excited that he 
laughed spasmodically, while his eyes were full of tears of 
emotion. " Look here ! " He waved the newspaper in 
front of us : " The Revolution is in danger ! " 

In turn we snatched the newspaper out of each other's 
hands. The General Staff of the Workers' and Soldiers' 
Council had met on the 19th at the Opera House. It was 
Kunfi who addressed the crowd : 

" The Entente is forging a ring of iron round Soviet 

We looked at each other. So they will not let us perish 
after all ! Human mercy comes to the rescue at last ! 

" Just listen ! Bela Kun himself admits that they are 
done for : ' According to reports the Roumanians have 
taken Szatmar-Ne'meti. The inhabitants at once abolished 
the Soviet Republic, hoisted white flags and raised cheers 
for the King. Private property was re-established. The 
Roumanians are advancing on Nagy-Varad. In Debreczen, 
however, the workmen managed to suppress the Counter- 
revolution. Everybody must go to the front. If 
necessary, we are ready to die for the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat ! ' ; 

We have learned to read between the lines of ' The Red 
Newspaper.' They are afraid, and in their fear they 
threaten furiously. The electrician War Minister threatens 
the working classes : " Anyone committing acts of in- 
discipline will be dealt with as if he were a Counter- 
revolutionary." As for the bourgeoisie, Pogdny shook 
his fist at it during the stage meeting at the Opera. 

" Comrades, we must inform the bourgeoisie that from 
this day we consider it our hostage. (Violent applause.) 
Let the bourgeois take notice that they will get no respite 
from any advance the Entente's army may make, because 
every step which brings the Serbian and Roumanian armies 
nearer shall be made a bitter trial to the bourgeois amongst 


us. (Stormy applause.) Let not the bourgeoisie rejoice, 
let it not stick white flags out of its windows, for we shall 
paint them red in their life-blood ! " (Raving applause 
lasting for several minutes.) 

Then Szamuelly mounted the tribune : " The 
Proletarian country is in danger ! " he exclaimed. " Death 
to all the enemies of the Proletariat ! Death to the 
bourgeois ! Although no blood has yet been shed in 
defence of the Republic, the blood of the Proletarians may 
yet flow, but then bourgeois blood will flow too." 

And the audience, the foreign crowd of the Workers' 
Council, clapped furiously as the Jew, Szamuelly, prophesied 
the shedding of the blood of the Hungarian Proletariat 
and the Hungarian bourgeoisie, stirred up against each 
other. Labour, driven to the slaughter, is to vent its fury 
and destroy the intellectuals. Magyardom is to crush 
Magyardom's brain with its own hand. 

Madness ! They sentence both their slaves and their 
enemies. Will they last long enough to accomplish the 
destruction of the nation ? 

The general assembly on Saturday before Easter resolved 
that every Proletarian must rise to arms in the defence of 
the Dictatorship. 

One is oppressed by a sense of calamity. The Roumanians 
in Nagy-Varad ! But on the other hand, the horrible 
Dictatorship is falling. Humanity has pity on us. Even 
if the Roumanians make encroachments now, peace will 
restore our territory to us. 

There were steps in the street. A man stopped on the 
kerb and looked up at our window. I remembered that 
I had seen him on the same spot yesterday. Mrs. Huszar 
pressed her husband's arm. Then the street lamps were 
lit, and we watched from the dark room. The sinister 
shape was still standing at the corner. 

April 21st. 

THE town remained quiet and the house was wrapped in 
silence. I could hear nothing but the throbbing of my 
pulse. Was that man still standing at the corner ? 

After midnight the roar of a single gun disturbed the 
night. I waited, but the ominous silence returned. Such 
must be the silence in a lunatic asylum at night. . . . The 
lamps burn low in the corridors, and now and then steps 
pass between the cells. The watchman makes his round. 
. . . Out there the Red patrols pass under the window. 
Dawn begins to break : salvation has failed again. And 


yet the hours are flying for us. If the powers of the 
Entente delay, the Dictatorship will make us pay for 
their attempts. Let them hurry, lest they be too late. 
The Dictators are proclaiming their threat that blood will 
flow. They are covering the walls with posters : "To 
arms ! " " Advance, Red soldiers ! " " Rise in defence 
of the Proletariat ! " " The Revolution is in danger ! " 

The fleeing Reds have been re-formed near Debreczen 
and Nyiregyhaza. A number of battalions and batteries 
have been removed from this western theatre. Trains are 
running at unusual hours : the Directorate is nervous. 
The petty tyrants proclaim the victories of the Red army, 
the reckless courage of the Proletarian heroes. Booty, 
innumerable prisoners ! The newspapers write in the 
same strain. From the capital come telephone messages 
and telegrams in cypher. Meanwhile the Czechs are 
shouting from the other bank : " Hey, Reds, there is a Red 
Easter in store for you ! " It is said that many soldiers 
deserted this night from the town : certainly there seem 
to be fewer about than usual. They are disillusioned now ; 
when they enlisted, they were told : " Down with war ! 
Henceforth a soldier's fife will be exempt from danger. 
Red soldiers will have good pay and they can do whatever 
they like." And now, all of a sudden, revolutionary 
court martials are established. Bela Kun abolishes the 
Soldiers' Councils and the ' confidential ' system, and 
behold, the soldiers have to go to war ! 

Towards evening we went to the bank of the river. Tiny 
armed figures were visible on the other shore, and single 
soldiers passed us in haste ; they had already removed 
the red from their caps and a few wore bonnets of the old 
pattern. A cold wind was blowing, driving back the 
waters in silvery ripples, and shaking the aspen trees ; a 
shudder passed over the reeds. Another soldier came 
along from the town. When he caught sight of us he left 
the road and made quickly for the fields. 

" He's deserting ! " 

The small figures with bayonets on the other bank were 
gradually absorbed by the darkness. A tree in blossom 
alone stood out white against the leaden grey sky. Our 
souls knew hope again. If only the frosty wind does not 
kill the early spring ! 

April 22nd. 

No news has reached us : the telegraph wires are silent : 
people have even stopped whispering in the street. The 


soldiers are leaning indolently out of the guard-room 
windows, and the Czech guns are silent. 

No news ! Yet suddenly an awful reminder of the times 
we live in reached my ear. A child was singing in the 
street. I could not see it, but could hear that it was 
coming nearer and nearer, so I began to listen. The little 
songster was just crossing the end of the narrow street 
and for an instant the break in the houses gave his voice 
free access to us. " My father . . . my mother . . ." 
It was a small boy and he was balancing himself on the 
kerbstone as he repeated the refrain. Then I caught the 
words : 

" My father, my mother, you may < for all I care 


The song went on, to the stupid tune of a Budapest 
music-hall ditty. I have heard many disgusting things 
told of the new schools established by the Bolsheviks, but 
I think this was the most disgusting and the most 
disastrous. The degradation of the Hungarian schools 
was not the achievement of a day : it was started unob- 
served before the war by our Freemasons' educational 
policy and by Freemason mayors of the capital. Then 
Karolyi came and prepared the way for Bolshevism in the 
education of Hungary's younger generation. The mass 
appointment of Jewish masonic professors and teachers ; 
the Bolshevik reform of school books ; the destruction of 
the souls of the children ; the degradation of parental 
authority ; the systematic destruction of moral and 
patriotic principles ; the revelation of sexual matters ; all 
these were the work of Karolyi's Government. The Soviet 
Government, when it came, had only to change a few men 
and names, and the whole machine was ready to their 
hand, to work exclusively, and to their entire satisfaction, 
in the interest of revolution. 

One shudders at the thought of those who have the 
education of Hungary's childhood and youth in their 
hands. They all belong to the foreign race. The 
Commissaries for Education : Kunfi, the morphomaniac ; 
Lukdcs a degenerate ; Pogany, who is openly accused of 
murder ; and Szamuelly, the murderer in Russia of captive 
Hungarian officers. The dictator of the students, or so- 
called ' young- workers,' is an assassin, the same Le"kai- 
Leiter who had attempted to kill Tisza on the steps of 
the House of Parliament the day before the outbreak of 
the Revolution. Murderers and men devoid of moral 
sense, how should they consider schools as anything but 


the means of propaganda, as devilish laboratories which 
may serve to poison young guiltless minds ? Normal 
education is a process of civilization : Bolshevik education 
is demoralisation. 

In the dormitories of girls' boarding schools young 
Jewish masters are made to sleep, so as to accustom the 
little girls to the presence of men. Jewish medical students 
accompany little girls to the mixed bathing places that 
they may kill all modesty with ridicule. Sexual education 
grows apace. The purpose of nursery schools has been 
changed : the teachers have been informed confidentially 
that the kindergarten must be used to estrange the children 
from their mothers and supplant the family. All toys 
are declared common property in order that the children 
may forget the crime of private ownership. And while 
our rulers are forcing the present generation of youths into 
the Red army, they decree that playing with lead soldiers 
must be forbidden to the coming generation, lest one day 
the slaves dream of liberation. 

An order has been issued that the old reading and history 
books must be given up : they are being replaced by new 
history books, written by people who do not even know 
our language. The workshop of destruction is producing 
new school books, for the Commissary for Education has 
given instructions that in future all school books must 
preach the gospel of class-war. Hungarian literature is 
no longer to be taught ; henceforth nothing but ' universal 
literature ' is to be taught in Hungarian schools. Such 
scraps of our history as are allowed to be taught are falsified 
and systematically besmirched : " John Hunyady was a 
mountebank, Matthias Corvinus a charlatan, Denis 
Pazmandy a scoundrel." 

It is not difficult to understand the purpose of the little 
boy's blasphemous song : let the children despise their 
fathers and mothers so that even at home parents may fail 
in their efforts to repair the destruction wrought in the 

For fifty years a devilish fiend has been slowly robbing 
the Hungarian people of its soul. Now that it has attained 
power it is destroying that soul with feverish haste, lest 
they should recover their soul when they regain their 

April 25th. 

BLACK and white shapes are circling in the sky : the storks 
have come back, birds of so many legends and stories. 


They left us in the autumn, stayed away for many months, 
and yet they have found their way back to their own ragged 
nests on the trees along the banks of the Ipoly. 

I looked at them as they descended, calm and peaceful. 
They did not attempt to take possession of a strange nest, 
of another bird's home. Mysterious, inviolable laws lead 
them to their own nests, regardless of the fact that in our 
country, at the foot of their trees, a man may no longer 
claim his own home. ' Every house becomes common 
property,' and he who dares to oppose this order is tried 
by a Revolutionary Tribunal. 

Someone had gone out of the room and left the door open. 
I could see a man in the corridor and heard him say that 
he had just come on foot, now and then getting a lift on a 
cart. He brought a letter for Aladar Huszar from his 
mother at Budapest. I could not help envying Huszar 
for me there is never a letter, nor any news. 

Huszar showed me his letter : it read as though his 
mother were taking leave of him on her death bed. They 
are starving in the capital and are living under a perpetual 
threat. If three people stop to talk to each other in the 
street they are promptly driven apart by the former 
boisterous advocates of the right of free assembly. Nobody 
is allowed in the streets after ten o'clock at night ; even 
family gatherings at home are prohibited, and after eleven 
o'clock all lights have to be extinguished in the houses. 
People are spied on in their own homes by the * confidential 
men ' who are quartered on them, and anybody who dares 
to move a hand is denounced. Poor Mrs. Huszar com- 
plained bitterly in her letter that a man-servant whom she 
had dismissed for theft had since been quartered on her 
with his wife. They are her guardians. Another old lady 
was compelled to find quarters for prostitutes, who received 
Red soldiers at night. And these people have to be fed. 
They get drunk, dirty the furniture and cover the floor with 
filth. There are no servants : she herself has to clean up 
after them, to save the place from pollution. Meanwhile 
the storka return to their last year's nest. Nature dis- 
regards man-made ordinances and continues her eternal 

Instinctively I looked at the newspaper. News : the 
advance of the Roumanians has been stopped. Lower down 
were three nominations : the Revolutionary Cabinet has 
appointed the distinguished typewriter salesman, Bflhm,* 

* A portrait of Bohm is reproduced at page 196 of Part I of this 


Commander in Chief on the Eastern front. The Chief of 
Staff of this ridiculous and humiliating Commander is to 
be the Austrian comrade Aurelius Stromfeld, the very man 
who sent a note to Karolyi informing him that the final 
victory of the Russian Soviet armies and the World 
Revolution were inevitable. What new misfortune is this 
gifted but misguided megalomaniac preparing for us ? The 
third nomination was that of Szamuelly to be the President 
of the Tribunal of Summary Jurisdiction established on 
the Eastern front. He is to be the absolute judge of all 
Counter-revolutionary movements behind the front. In 
his order issued from General Headquarters he stated his 
intentions clearly : " I do not ask the bourgeoisie for 
anything, but I should like it to engrave my words on its 
memory : whoever raises his hand against the power of the 
Proletariat signs his own sentence of death. As for the 
execution of the sentence, it will be our business to attend 
to that." 

Who is this man who has the power to speak like that ? 
Whence does he come, he who from this day onwards can 
dispose of our lives without further appeal ? 

He appeared in the dark beginnings of the Revolution, 
at the side of Bela Kun. They crossed the Russian frontier 
together. Both brought with them the instructions and 
the gold of Trotsky. 

I remember him : it was last winter, and at that time 
Visegrad street was the well-known ' secret ' nest of the 
Communists. Two figures were coming towards me from 
the corner, from the direction of ' The Red Newspaper's ' 
editorial offices : one was Maria Goszthonyi, who under 
the name of Maria Csorba filled important functions in the 
Soviet and roused the Communist rabble by her reckless 
speeches ; the other was a young man who, although he 
had no hump yet bore on his face that curious expression 
common to hunchbacks. I learned later on that this man 
was Tibor Szamuelly. 

His grandfather came from Galicia in his gabardine with 
a bundle on his back. Tibor Szamuelly came young to 
Nagy-Varad, and without possessing any special gift for 
writing and endowed with a superficial education only, 
he became a journalist. I may say here that my informa- 
tion concerning him has been obtained from people who 
knew him personally at that time. In the cafe's he used 
to seek out quiet corners and sit if possible alone at a table. 
He practically never removed his black gloves he always 
wore black clothes and a black tie, and his long straight 



black hair was combed back from his forehead. His 
clean-shaven consumptive-looking face was furrowed with 
blue-black shadows. 

Presently this son of a Polish Jew became a Bohemian 
eccentric, and wore clothes after the English fashion ; 
but the change was only skin-deep, his soul was filled with 
the ardour of the crowded Synagogue. It remembered 
the dim lights of the eves of the old faith's Sabbaths, the 
seven lighted candles, the lust for vengeance of the despised. 
He mixed little with Christians, and as for the Christian 
women of bad fame with whom he came into contact, it 
was only to humiliate them (so he said) that he sought 
their company. He spoke with hatred of everything that 
was Hungarian, though he disguised his own characteristic 
name under a Hungarian form. At the beginning of the 
war he was writing short unimportant articles for a news- 
paper in Fiume. Then he joined the staff of the Catholic 
Hungarian Courier. 

He was called up for military service when war broke 
out. For a time he cleverly managed to postpone joining 
his regiment and then for a while he shirked in various 
orderly-rooms behind the front. Later on he surrendered 
to the Russians, and when the Revolution broke out there 
a sudden change took place in the demeanour of this Jew 
boy, who till then had been rude and overbearing with 
his subordinates and cringing to his superiors. He quickly 
rose above the others. Soon he was seen recruiting for 
the Red army among the Hungarian prisoners of war. He 
used threats and every conceivable pressure. The Jewish 
Czars restored his freedom, and in astonishing proof of 
racial solidarity, the insignificant little Jew of Nyiregyhaza 
became a commander in the Russo-Jewish army of the 
Soviet. And then, at last, it seems, he gave the rein to 
his long-nursed hatred : he ordered the slaughter of 
ninety-two Hungarian officers, prisoners of war. 

Last year, in November, he came * home,' and soon after 
met Karolyi at Bela Kun's quarters. Henceforth the two 
met often, and it was under Karolyi's protection that he 
proclaimed at Communist meetings : " Death to the 
Bourgeois ! " On the eve of March 22nd he was already 
Assistant Commissary for War : now he has become 
President of the Revolutionary Tribunals. 

Before he left Budapest for General Headquarters he was 
sitting one afternoon in the window of Budapest's smartest 
confectioner's and was looking out on the square. Several 
people who were close by heard him say : "I am going to 


build a guillotine on this square. So many bourgeois must 
be killed that the tumbrils will have to drive through pools 
of their blood." 

Somebody who had been to Budapest told me that 
Szamuelly was surrounded by terrorist guards, that his 
special train was provided with machine guns, and that an 
executioner always travelled with him. In the Journalist's 
Club, the revolutionary ' Otthon,' the once obscure reporter, 
has become the most important personage among the 
journalist representatives of his race. One of the most 
prominent among them, Alexander Brody, is said to have 
embraced him at a champagne supper and to have hailed 
him as " Our prophet ! " 

Yes, that is what he is, their prophet ! . . . Now that 
I think of him, the memory of his dark hyena-like features 
becomes more and more distinct. He grins appreciatively 
at his new power. I can see his black sleek head and his 
hand beckoning death. Gallows are erected wherever he 
goes. And the gallows, like black Hebrew characters, 
remain in the landscape when his special train has passed 
on to some other rebellious district. It is in these black 
characters that this foreigner is inscribing his name upon 
our history. Tibor Szamuelly has been brought up in 
the secret rites of hatred and belongs to an ultra-orthodox 
sect of oriental Jews which is stricter in the observance of 
its ceremonies than any other. The sect of Chesidem 
resembles the Hebrews of the Old Testament, grave, 
prejudiced and dark. It shuns the light of the sun. Its 
adherents admit of no other truth than that which is 
contained in the Thora, and that only because it is there. 
This sect interprets the covenant strictly and to the letter ; 
* an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth ' is the foundation 
of its creed. 

Szdrnuelly's degenerate soul has been formed and shaped 
by these rites and teachings. Thus he has become the 
most characteristic type of this sect whose ruling spirits 
for many years have lived and increased stealthily in our 
midst. Hatred has been given free rein, the type has 
thrown off its mask, and the thirst for vengeance, stored 
up for innumerable years, is about to be quenched. In 
the person of Szamuelly the Revolutionary Cabinet has 
found an executioner for the Hungarian people who is 
blood of its blood, soul of its soul. 


April 24th. 

As it was getting dark last night a man crept into the yard. 
He looked round carefully : the street was empty : 
suddenly he ran up the back stairs. 

Alarming news had been spreading over the town during 
the day : bands of terrorists are going about arresting 
people. The Cabinet is issuing open threats, becoming 
reckless in its fear of overthrow. Strict orders are being 
sent to the provincial towns. The Directorate of 
Balassagyarmat has been dismissed, having been accused 
of weakness and of favouring the gentlefolk. New men 
are coming forward, a young fellow scarcely twenty years 
old is to be the Dictator of the proud county. Another 
of the same type is to command the garrison. Jews have 
gone, but still Jews are coming. They have orders to 
take hostages in the county, so that should the Czechs 
attack these could be thrown to the fury of the mob. 
Something is necessary to occupy the rabble whilst the 
Directorate is making its escape. 

Lights in the windows disappeared earlier than usual 
this evening, and the steps of the patrols resounded through 
empty, overawed streets. 

Aladar Huszar is the friend of a people who are of no 
importance to-day. The man who stole in by the back 
door brought a warning : he must escape, they are going 
to arrest him to-night. So Huszar left his home and went 
into the dark streets. 

The cold penetrated everywhere, even through the walls. 
We were sitting in fur coats. The candle had burnt to the 
end, and there was no firewood in the house. 

Suddenly we heard the noise of rifle- butts banging 
furiously upon the door. 

Mrs. Huszar looked at me : " Is it for him, or is it for you ? " 

We put out the candle and opened the window a little. 

Soldiers were standing outside. * ' Is anything the matter ? ' ' 

" No," came the answer ; then a face emerged from the 

obscurity : " We're only making preparations." The face 

looked scared. " We're looking for the comrade 


" They've gone out." 



There was a good deal of swearing. Then : " The 
good-for-nothing scoundrels I " 

I wondered if the officers had deserted too ! 

April 25th. 

TO-DAY has been like a nightmare. Bayonets have been 
glinting in front of our windows. About noon soldiers 
poured through the main street. They climbed fully 
armed into commandeered carts, and drove furiously 
towards Orhalom. The Czechs have opened their attack ! 
At nightfall the clatter of arms was heard in the direction 
of the prison. Doors slammed and dogs howled in the 
dark : the Communists were taking their hostages. . . . 
The telepathy of common disaster enables us to guess 
each other's thoughts ; we say nothing, but we are thinking 
in common ; never has there been such sympathy among 
suffering humanity. On the Saturday before Easter, only 
a few days ago, Aladar Huszar remarked : "I am so sorry 
for you. It must be terrible to have to leave one's own 
home, not knowing whither to go and not being sure of 
a safe lodging for the night." To-day I thought precisely 
the same thing concerning him. He has gone, with his 
faithful friend George Pongracz. To-morrow they will 
come here to fetch him and will search the house. We 
shall all be questioned. And if they recognize me . . . 
Well, so be it ! 

April 26th. 

IT is impossible to sleep these nights, and the lumbering 
steps of patrols passing in the icy darkness alone mark the 
progress of time. 

Early this morning a Red soldier called and inquired 
after Aladar Huszar. " He's got to report at once." 
Then another came and questioned the servants. Mrs. 
Huszdr was unperturbed. They told her that if her husband 
did not turn up they would arrest her in his place, so she 
proceeded to pack a small bag, just as I had done not long 
before. About noon detectives came and held a consulta- 
tion in the ante-room. Then they went through the house 
systematically, and as they proceeded I fled before them, 
from room to room. When I could go no further I hid 
under the staircase, feeling rather like an annual caught 
in a trap. Would they find me ? What good had my 
efforts been ? Again I felt the invisible hand groping 
around me. . 


They went, but others soon came. Across the road, at 
the corner, stood a sentry, his face turned towards the 
house. In the afternoon posters appeared on the walls 
red paper with huge black letters : "He who receives a 
visitor in his house will be summoned before the 
Revolutionary Tribunal. Any stranger found within the 
town after twenty-four hours will be expelled." 

Life has fresh troubles in store for me every day. I am 
resigned to my fate : but ten years' hard labour are in 
store for those who have taken me in ! 

Mrs. George Pongracz came to us, her husband has had 
to fly for his life. They have only recently been married. 
Poor girl, she is left quite alone. We tried to devise some 
plan to escape from this place. Mrs. Pongracz said at 
last : " In a village not far from here there's a dear old 
lady whom I know very well ; nobody would look for you 

We decided on it hurriedly. Mrs. Pongracz wrote a 
letter to her friend, Mrs. Michael Beniczky, at Sziigy, and 
told her that Elisabeth Foldvary, a poor relation of the 
Huszars, with a weak heart (!) begged her hospitality for 
a few days as she was afraid of the Czech guns. Then 
she left, and we made hasty preparations. Mrs. Huszar 
hid her husband's arms and clothes and then we collected 
all the letters and papers in the house that might have been 
dangerous and made a fire of them in the nursery. HuszaVs 
desperate counter-revolutionary writings went up in 
flames letters, handbills, appeals of the Women's 
Federation a sad auto da fe : months of hard work, hope 
and enthusiasm were committed to the flames. However, 
the children enjoyed it and danced round the unaccustomed 
blaze ; even we ourselves drew nearer and were glad of 
the warmth. 

We were called up again during the night : a cart stopped 
in front of the house, and the steps of soldiers resounded. 
Those who will live after us will never be able to understand 
the terror and anxiety which were conjured up by a few 
steps in the night, a cart stopping in front of the house. . . . 
*' They are coming . . . ! " 

Mrs. Huszar went to the door. They were soldiers 
two Red officers come to commandeer night quarters. 
They marched in and took possession of a room upstairs, 
and for a time we could hear them moving about overhead. 

Are the Czechs going to attack ? But the great silence 
of expectation continues undisturbed under the frigid sky. 


April 27th. 

THE riverside churches were ringing their bells for Mass, 
and the town had turned its face in their direction. Our 
street was empty, except for the Red soldier on sentry 
duty at the corner. Mrs. Huszar went with me to the 
door, and when the Red sentry looked towards the town 
I slipped quietly out. His back was turned to me and I 
escaped his notice. I carried a tiny parcel under my arm, 
containing just a few things. How little suffices for our 
bare needs ! Mrs. Pongracz followed me, and we went 
quickly across the main street. 

I had not been in this direction since the evening when 
I arrived here, and my imagination had replaced the 
topography of the town on the banks of the Ipoly by quite 
a different place. It had placed an ancient town-hall with 
a venerable tower on the market place, where none actually 
existed. It had placed around it old-fashioned houses 
with arcades where in reality were tiny shops crowded 
together and an old fountain in the middle of the square. 
I looked round, but reality left no impression on me and 
the picture of my imagination remained. 

Whenever people came towards us I experienced a 
feeling of terror ; I raised iny handkerchief and pretended 
to blow my nose. 

" If there are many more people coming," I said, 
laughing even in my distress, " I'm likely to get a sore 

Red soldiers were standing at the railway crossing, and 
they asked us where we were going. 

" We are only going to Sziigy, near by, to spend the day." 

There came another few yards of street with suburban 
houses, and suddenly we found ourselves on the main road 
among endless open fields basking in the sunshine. There 
was a sharp wind blowing, but spring hovered over the 
woods of the neighbouring hills. The wayside flowers 
stood in the grass like long-waisted, wide-petticoated little 
peasant girls. It was like a feast-day, a Sunday of a 
hundred bright colours. Suddenly I felt an inexpressible 
desire for freedom. For weeks I had been hiding among 
friends, stealthily, making myself as small as possible, 
like one endeavouring to make his way through a thorny 
thicket. Now at last I had reached the open and the sun 
was shining on my face. I laughed with sheer joy, and 
the wind mimicked my mirth as it swept softly over the 

Aa if the main road were a church parade, carriage 


followed carriage in long procession, fat young Jews in 
service uniform with the Soviet cap lolling within them. 
Fine thoroughbreds pranced beside them, stolen horses 
with grooms in stolen liveries. A smart turn-out 
approached rapidly, the harness and trappings ornamented 
with the silver arms of a count. The coachmen wore a 
Hungarian livery. Lolling back on the cushions was a 
vulgar-looking man, and beside him a shapeless but smartly 
dressed female was making herself comfortable. 

" That is the Dictator of the county and his wife," 
whispered Mrs. Pongracz ; " I recognise Count Mailath's 
mackintosh. The dress his wife is wearing belonged to 
the Countess, she wore it when her husband was installed 
Lord Lieutenant. These people have taken possession of 
the castle of Gardony and have had all the furniture they 
want sent from it to their own house. The ' comrade * is 
said to be vastly annoyed because coats of arms and crests 
' disfigure ' the cigarette-cases he acquired there." 

I turned my face towards the fields ; the reflection of 
the sun glittered in a circle round the spokes of the wheels 
and dust rose in long clouds beneath them. When they 
had passed and the dust had settled I looked anxiously 
behind me. Presently peasants on foot overtook us ; it 
is only honest people who walk nowadays. One bare- 
footed old peasant carried his boots dangling from his 
crook over his back. Poor deluded millions ! Do they 
still believe that everything belongs to the Proletarians ? 
Do they still believe it when the carriages of their former 
rulers throw the dust into their eyes as their new masters 
ride by in them ? When will the peasantry of this 
credulous country crush those who have dared to trick it ? 

I caught sight of the spire of a church beyond the turning 
of the road, and shingled roofs hiding among the trees. 
There stood the fine old County Hall, with its double roof 
dating from the period of Maria Theresa a red flag floating 
over it. And plastered all over the walls of the cottages 
were the joyful posters : " Long live the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat." 

We left the main road. A red handkerchief waved from 
a pole on top of a peasant's cottage : the Directorate had 
resided there. Then we crossed an abandoned cemetery, 
a tall crucifix standing out darkly above the high grass 
that covered the tombstones. But the sun was shining 
and the wind blew freshly. We came to a neglected old 
garden ; within the open gate of wrought-iron Red Guards 
were loafing ; happy or unhappy, whoever liked could go 


in and out. A large number of munition cases were stacked 
in the wood shed and on the terrace of the old manor-house. 
I looked at the inscriptions : Explosive. No. 15 ecrasite shell. 

" There is enough here to blow up a town with." 

Mrs. Pongracz nodded. " In the next field there's a 
Red Battery. The Czechs in the vineyard are shelling it." 

Beyond, above the shingled roof of the manor house, 
two morose old firs rose towards heaven, their lowest 
branches touching the young grass. The house with its 
pillars reminded me of the old garden in Algyest which was 
my childhood's delight. But here the soldiers had trampled 
down the grass of the lawn, and the heavy munition 
waggons had cut deep ruts in the road. Near the gate 
where the soldiers were, crumpled paper and broken bottles 
were lying about. But behind the house, on the other 
side, the garden was practically untouched, and amidst 
the young awakening of Spring it was beautiful in its wild 
tangle of growth. 

A door opened and an old lady came towards us. She 
had scarcely looked at me when she said : " You did well, 
child, to come to me." 

She had scarcely looked at me ! This was Hungary 
indeed the old, hospitable Hungary which to-day is 
forbidden by the immigrants ! . . . " Anyone receiving 
a visitor in his house will be summoned before the 
Revolutionary Tribunal. ..." 

The overgrown garden peeped in through the grated 
window ; the trees were covered with moss, and old stone 
seats lined the path. Here was peace. The path was 
over-run with grass and my feet left no mark on it. I can 
stop here, even I to whom rest has been so long denied. 
No search will be made for me here, and I shall be able to 
sleep at night. There will be no knockings at my window, 
my dreams will not be haunted by the sound of cartwheels, 
the ringing of bells, the tramping of feet. . . . 

Szligy, April 28th. 

THE sun shone into the room ; its rays rested on the old 
furniture and travelled on with soundless steps. Mrs. 
Beniczky, who was sitting at the writing table, turned now 
and then towards me and spoke in a low voice, cautiously, 
for listening ears are everywhere. She inquired about my 
family, for she had known the Foldvarys in other days. 
My answers became more and more confused. Later on 
she began to talk of the Counter-revolution and mentioned 


my name, my real name, spoke of me,of my real self. The blood 
rushed to my face : she must have thought I had not heard 
her, for she repeated her question: "Do you know what hap- 
pened to Cecile Tormay ? My daughter met her last winter. ' ' 

" They say she has escaped to Switzerland ..." How 
ashamed of "myself I felt ! I had stolen into this house 
under a false name, with false credentials. I had asked 
iny hostess for shelter, though I knew it meant danger to 
her. I hated myself, and it was on the tip of my tongue 
to tell her the truth. Oh, why could she not see that I 
was deceiving her, she who received me with the words : 
" You have done well, child, to come to me." 

We were three at dinner : a visitor had come from 
Balassagyarmat to see Mrs. Beniczky. We talked of 
books, and the guest, who had no more notion of my 
identity than our hostess, mentioned The Old House. 

" What has happened to Cecile Tormay ? I am told 
there is a warrant out against her." 

It was fortunate that I was sitting with my back to the 
light. Again I stuttered something about Switzerland. 
As if speaking to herself, Mrs. Beniczky said : " But why 
did she not come here ? I would have hidden her so that 
nobody could have found her." 

What a burden of self-reproach these words lifted from 
my conscience ; they told me that it was not entirely by 
favour of an assumed name, but to some extent for my 
own sake, that I was received here. 

April 29th. 

THIS morning the garden beyond the two tall firs was 
deliciously quiet ; the trees and shrubs seem to exclude 
everything that makes life vile and terrible. 

Later in the day one of the maids overheard some soldiers 
talking near the pump. Somewhere in the neighbourhood 
a priest has been arrested and they are going to execute 
him because a red, white and green flag has been found in 
his possession. To the Revolutionary Tribunal with him 
who treasures a Hungarian flag ! The ' Cabinet ' has 
ordered that every flag, with the exception of red or black 
ones, must be given up. Poor Hungarian flag ! Between 
the black and yellow of the Austrian and the red of the 
Bolsheviks, fate has granted it scarcely an interlude in 
which to float freely over a free people in a free country. 
Henceforth the national flag is proscribed in the land of 
the Hungarian nation. 


The soldiers went on to talk of other things. One 
whispered : " Have you heard that Comrade Szdmuelly 
is hanging people in Hajduszoboszlo ? . . ." 

Reality has penetrated the garden with all its hideousness. 
Trees and shrubs can keep it out no longer. Death to 
everything that is Hungarian ! In the county of the noble 
Hajdu, the Jewish Dictatorship, in flight before the 
Roumanians, is hanging people Hungarians. From 
General Headquarters Comrade Bohm is driving our people 
to the slaughter-house. It is said that the pavements of 
the capital are drenched with rivers of blood. At night 
there are frequent splashes in the Danube between Buda 
and Pest. People disappear and never return. The gaols 
are crowded. Early risers find pools of blood on the chain 
bridge, with a crushed hat beside them. Who has been 
murdered ? Who are the murderers ? There is no answer, 
but the blood and the news spread. 

April 30th. 

THE blossoming plum-trees stood like brides in the grass : 
whenever the breeze rose their white veils fluttered. Time 
was marked only by the shadow of a slender tree which 
swept like a giant clock-hand over the lawn and 
disappeared. Evening fell. 

On the main road a soldier on horseback came slowly 
into sight. He wore the gay hussar's cap of olden times 
and his dolman swung on his shoulder with the paces of 
his horse. He looked as if he had stepped out of a picture- 
book of the past into a strange world of new soldiers with 
Soviet caps. A Hungarian hussar, a bugler ! Remote 
from the present as his appearance was, the sound of his 
bugle seemed even more to belong to the past, and the 
cool evening resounded with the ancient call a call com- 
posed by Haydn, a solemn call : ' To prayer.' The music 
spread and the forbidden call echoed through the village. 

In front of the gate the hands of the Red soldiers went 
instinctively to then* caps. But they stopped halfway, 
for all prayer is forbidden. On the other side of the road 
the political delegate to this front, the little Jew Katz. 
was walking about in patent leather boots. Suddenly he 
recognised the tune of the bugle call, and his face became 
distorted with rage. He ran angrily towards the bugler. 
The soldiers looked down as though to avoid the Syrian 
eye of the Revolutionary Tribunal. 

For some time after silence had been restored and the 




dust had settled down I stood there, waiting. Nowadaj-a 
one is always waiting. How many things have failed to 
come ! The ultimatum of the Entente, the French army 
from Marseilles, British relief troops, the opposition 
Government in Fiume, counter-revolutions, regiments of 
officers attacking from beyond the frontiers, relieving 
Szekler battalions. . . . And yet it was good to hope : 
it helped one to live. But these are things of the past. 
Now it is only the Rumanians who are coming, and 
Szamuelly is having people hanged. . . . 

The night was long and restless. I put out the candle 
for economy's sake and for hours lay motionless in the 
dark. Wherever my thoughts strayed they encountered 
filth and blood. 

Then suddenly, out there in the spring night, a nightingale 
began to sing. I groped my way through the dark room 
and opened the window. You little artist, the only artist 
who may practise his art freely in this sad country to-day ! 
What was it I read in the newspaper this morning ? 
" Order . . . National Council for Intellectual Production. 
. . . The publication of intellectual products is exclusively 
in the hands of the National Council ..." Art is the 
vehicle which conveys to us the eternal mystery of the 
universe. Art is faith wrought into the visible. Art is 
an aristocracy. Art has precursors, and woe to him who 
attempts to limit its expanse with shackles. He kills 
thought, he strikes the image of God as it were in the eye. 

Those who have adopted the precepts of Karl Marx 
speak to-day of ' party art,' ' mass art,' and ' co-operatives 
of spiritual production.' What perversely wicked fools are 
these people whose leader claims to be an author and yet 
kills literature in Hungary ! George Lukacs-Lowinger, the 
hydrocephalic little Jewish philosopher, son of a millionaire 
banker, who became a Proletarian apostle through the 
influence of his Bolshevik wife. As Deputy Educational 
Commissary of the Soviet he had the book and music shops 
closed down, and after having thus stopped all literary 
life and effort, he invented * the literary register ' ! He 
discovered that talent had to be classified, and that each 
class had to be shut up in a separate drawer, like the goods 
in a grocer's shop. He therefore decreed that writers were 
to be divided into three classes, and that the question as 
to which class a writer belonged was to be decided by a 
special Directorate. The authors are to receive monthly 
salaries according to the class to which they are allotted, 
and for this salary they have to write. They have no 


other source of income, but the fixed salary is paid to them 
whatever they produce, so long as it is in accordance with 
the interests of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and 
Class War. Needless to say, the Communist poets all 
belong to the highest class. 

May 1st. 

EARLY this morning the sounds of a Gypsy band came 
from the village, playing the Internationale ; thus I realised 
that this was May Day. 

Strict orders have been issued that the village is to be 
draped in red. A red flag must be hoisted on the town hall, and 
red ribbons are to float from the windows of the cottages. 

The Gypsy band came up to the house and played on 
the terrace, and the soldiers sang. Mrs. Beniczky and I 
withdrew to the bottom of the garden. Everything has 
been commandeered by the Reds : a roast is preparing for 
them in the kitchen, and other dishes were in process of 
making. To-night there is going to be a ball. " Two 
balls," said the chambermaid, " because we Proletarians 
refuse to dance with the peasant girls." 

Once upon a time May Day was the day of youth, the 
day of festive excursions for little sempstresses, students, 
apprentices and children. Then it became the day of 
manifestations, and, later, of threats. The new saviours 
of the world promised the millenium for this day. On a 
blood-soaked land the blood-maddened masses are stream- 
ing towards the final battle which is to bring them an 
utterly unattainable victory. Red flags unfurled in a 
storm of blood are floating under a sky painted red by 
incendiary fires. 

The first of May has been selected by the Communists 
for the birthday of the world revolution. Lenin's messages 
are being scattered broadcast. Moscow has sent its 
propaganda gold. And the Dictators of the Proletariat 
are offering their slaves the scent of blood, so that this 
May shall be their victory. 

In Budapest preparations for this festival have been 
going on for weeks. They hoped to celebrate it with a 
victory for the Red arms, but for victory they have had 
to substitute shams. The further the Red army has been 
forced to retire in the East, the louder they proclaim their 
Red May. 

Panem et circenses ! There is no bread, the capital 
faints for lack of food, so let there be a circus for the people. 


The last rags are falling from the backs of the destitute 
millions, so let the town be garbed in red. Entire houses 
are covered with it ; bridge-heads, terraces, walls ; even 
the electric trams have been painted blood-red. The 
Revolutionary Cabinet has exchanged thirty millions' 
worth of cattle in Vienna for the red decorations of starving 
Budapest. The programme of the festivities is so long 
that the newspapers have no space to report the defeats 
on the Eastern front. 

There are meetings and processions everywhere ; every- 
body has to join in ; everybody has to decorate his house ; 
otherwise . . . May, Spring, glorious feast of freedom, he 
who dares to remain indifferent to these will be summoned 
before a Revolutionary Tribunal. 

The entire capital has turned red, and on the red back- 
ground gigantic white plaster statues have been set. On 
the drill ground a red-covered coffin, two stories high and 
forty-five yards long, has been erected to the memory of 
Martinovics, to the leader of the peasant rising, Dozsa, to 
Charles Liebknecht of Spartacist fame, and to Rosa 

The entrance of the tunnel under the castle hill in Buda 
is draped in red, and plaster statues of Soviet soldiers with 
terrifying faces and with rifles raised ready to strike are 
standing beside it. The naked red giant, hammer in hand, 
of ' The People's Voice ' is displayed at the street corner : 
" Death to the bourgeois ! " 

The memorial of our millenary is also covered with red. 
Over the statue of Arpad, the conqueror, which has been 
covered with planks, a plaster statue of Marx has been 
erected. In front of the House of Parliament, like a 
blood-covered giant bladder, is a red globe. Andrassy's 
statue has been covered by a red Greek temple, and there 
again, ten yards high, are the heads of Marx, Lenin, 
Liebknecht, Engels and Rosa Luxemburg. Plaster, plaster, 
red cloth (made of paper), red columns, red flag-staffs and 
flags, wreaths, five-pointed Soviet stars. A sickening red 
disguise over the deadly pallor of the Hungarian capital. 

A red rag rouses a thirst for blood in a frenzied bull. 
What is it they want, there, on the banks of the Danube ? 
What is it all for ? Is it a sudden madness, or is it 
the accomplishment of the frightful prophecy of the 
Apocalypse ? 

I took up my Bible. The prophecy and its realisation 
stood out in red letters before my eyes. But a few days 
later in the prophecy there comes one on a white horse, 


dressed in white linen. And the white one vanquishes the 

May 2nd. 

NEWS has just reached us : the Bed army has retired 
before the Rumanians and has crossed the Tisza. The 
Serbians have occupied Hodmezovasarhely. The Czechs 
have occupied Miskolcz and are attacking in two sectors. 
The population is helping them and there is no resistance ; 
the Reds are in flight. What a terrible position is ours : 
the invaders fill us with horror, and yet we await them 
eagerly : we look to assassins to save us from our hangman. 
And while we bite our lips in helpless anguish our sufferings 
are unheeded by humanity, which is concerned only with 
the fact that the Soviet Republic protects foreigners. The 
Republic of course has decreed that its agents must behave 
with the greatest courtesy to foreigners, and it has 
established an ' Office for the protection of Aliens.' Is 
there not a single foreigner who thinks of asking his own 
people for help for us, who did not intern them during the 
war and are now persecuted slaves in our own country ? 
In past centuries the Rumanians and Serbs fled to us 
for asylum against their own tyrants, and to us also came 
the wandering Jew. But now they are all working together 
to wipe us from the face of the earth. Yet we shared with 
them everything we had, and they readily received our 
protection. It is said that only a misguided fraction of 
the Jews is active in the destruction of Hungary. If 
that be so, why do not the Jews who represent Jewry in 
London, in New York, and at the Paris Peace Conference 
disown and brand their tyrant co-religionists in Hungary ? 
Why do they not repudiate all community with them ? 
Why do they not protest against the assaults committed 
by men of their race ? 

A storm is coming, and its breath bends the trees of the 
garden. The branches of the old firs rise and fall over 
the lawn like slime-covered oars on a turbulent lake. The 
leaves of the aspen are thrust apart by the wind as if it 
were blowing aside the hair from a face walking against 
the storm. The willow bends as if it were gathering 
flowers in the grass. The guns thunder near Orhalom. 
The wind is rising, and already it is roaring like furious 
giant hounds barking at the setting sun. 

The soldiers say that the Czechs are going to attack 


May 3rd. 

A WILD night, like a witches' Sabbath. The . nightingale 
did not sing, the only sound was the roar of the guns. The 
shells are still stacked on the other side of the wall of my 
room, out there on the terrace, and if in the dark a shell 
were to strike here, not one stone of the village would be 
left on another. But there is so much misery nowadays 
that no one troubles about such things. 

Again the attack did not come off, and during the whole 
night the garden was wringing its green hands. I was 
awakened early by excited voices, all talking of the hopeless 
situation of the Proletarian army. The Rumanians have 
occupied the bridge-heads at Szolnok and are marching 
on Budapest. Bela Kun has fallen. 

The rumours spread through the villages, and the peasant 
members of the small Directorates, recruited by force, 
are saying with pallid lips : "I cannot be blamed, I have 
only done what I was told. No harm can come to me, I 
never wanted it." The Communists of Szugy have 
suddenly become very polite : the Red soldiers actually 
saluted us. " What is going to happen ? " I asked one 
of them, and as I did so a drunken voice shouted in the 
yard : " Down with the Dictatorship of the Proletariat ! " 
The political delegates to the front have vanished, and 
disorderly, ugly indiscipline has taken hold of the men. 
Sergeant Isidor Grosz shouted his orders in the village 
street in vain, no one paid the least attention to him. One 
of the soldiers shouted at him : " Shut up ! You left 
your battery, didn't you, comrade, when the Czechs were 
shelling us ? " I remembered the story of this Isidor 
Grosz. He went to see his fiancee, having written out a 
pass for himself and forged his commander's signature to 
it. When he turned up again his commander brought 
him before a court-martial. Then the 32nd regiment of 
heavy artillery began to grumble, and Isidor Grosz ran 
straight to Bela Kun to complain. The discipline in the 
Red army is as loose as this everywhere, which explains 
the feeble resistance it is making. Meanwhile Comrade 



Bohm, the Comxnander-in-Chief, declares that Proletarian 
self-respect is everywhere victorious. 

The door opened ; Mrs. Beniczky looked round and 
then said in a whisper : 

" The Counter-revolution has broken out in 
Balassagyarmat. People are shouting in the street : " We 
never were Communists ! " Our people have seized a 
telegram : in it the Soviet Cabinet has disclosed the 
situation. It has fallen." 

Steps came along the terrace. We looked round in 
alarm. It was Mrs. Aladar Huszar. 

What had happened in Balassagyarmat ? And her 
husband ? She made a sad gesture, then said that I must 
go with her. The Czechs were attacking and Balassag- 
yarmat was preparing to receive them. They only want 
the railway fine. Sziigy is not going to be occupied, so 
that if I remained here I should still be in the Soviet 
Republic. We should have to hurry. 

" So they have not fallen after all ? And what about 
the Counter-revolution ? " 

She told us hastily that a meeting had been held at the 
square in front of the county hall. Captain Bajatz, who 
last winter had driven the Czechs out of the town, announced 
from the balcony that the situation was hopeless. " It is 
a military impossibility to hold the town." An officer 
then exclaimed : " Down with the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat ! " Whereupon Comrade Sugar, the political 
delegate, elbowed his way to the front on the balcony and 
incited the people against the bourgeoisie and the officers. 
" They must be extirpated ! Spare neither women nor 
children ! It is they who have brought the Czechs down 
on us ! " The attitude of the crowd changed suddenly : 
fists were raised and bayonets pointed towards the 
bourgeoisie. Blood flowed. Captain Bajatz fled : he was 
last seen riding towards K6var, and as he reached the 
bridge the Reds opened fire on him. That was the 
gratitude of Balassagyarmat for his having saved it once. 
However, he spurred his horse and with two other officers 
rode over to the Czech lines. Since then the other bank 
of the Ipoly has livened up. And in the streets of the 
town the Proletarians are clamouring for our death and 
shout that they are going to kill the hostages if the Czechs 
enter. "The whole town is in an uproar, and the railway 
barriers are guarded. Let us go ! " 

I was loth to go, and Mrs. Beniczky looked affected too. 
She said nothing, but she must have wondered that I 


should leave her now, when it was fear of a Czech 
bombardment that had driven me here. 

" I. must explain. ... It was not because of the of 
the bombardment that I came here." 

" I knew that much, Elisabeth ; it was not fear that 
brought you here. But I did not question you, I just 
enjoyed having you." 

The assumed name suddenly became unbearable. 

" Dear Mrs. Beniczky, I am not the person you think." 

She stepped back and looked at me in surprise. " But 
who are you then ? " 

Her eyes sparkled when I told her. " Goodness me ! 
But then ..." She kissed me and her face showed clearly 
that she was anything but displeased. " Mind you come 
back if things turn out otherwise than you expect." And 
she looked after us as long as her eyes could follow. 

Most of the soldiers had removed the red ribbon from 
their caps and had replaced it by a white flower. By 
nightfall whole troops of them were going off. A bandy- 
legged, unkempt young Jew was hurrying towards Mohora. 
" There goes Bela Kun's soldier ! " the Beds shouted. 
They laughed and one of them spat in the dust. 

As we approached the town the country became more 
and more deserted. We could hear the sound of rifles in 
the distance. The poplars along the Ipoly were bent as 
though the weight of the leaden sky pressed them down. 
Everything bowed to the wind, the dust raced along, and 
petals were swept in showers from the fruit trees. When 
we had reached the streets two soldiers, pale as death, 
came running past us. They glared at us suspiciously, 
with frightened eyes. Others followed them, carrying 
rifles and haversacks. They shouted excitedly at us : 

" Into the houses. Nobody must remain in the streets." 

Another group came running along, dragging a little 
fair-haired lieutenant with them. They were holding his 
hands, and pulling him along so that he should not escape. 
They even implored him : they needed him. Opposite 
some railings they knelt down, the raised stocks of their 
rifles pressed against dead-white cheeks. 

" The Czechs are here ! " 

We reached the house and banged the door behind us. 
Machine guns rattled and a gun roared, making the windows 
shake. Opposite, under the palings, soldiers bent low and 
ran feverishly towards the barracks at the end of the town. 

" There they are, near the wood. They have crossed 
the Ipoly ! " 


No human being was now visible in the streets. The 
rattle of the machine guns continued, and the guns fired 
more rapidly, the shells whining through the air above our 
heads and bursting in the vineyards towards Sziigy. A 
cloud rose wherever they struck the earth. 

" The church spire of Kovar has been hit, it's disappeared 

On the main road some cows were rushing along in a 
wild stampede, the heavy coat of the cow-herd swinging 
right and left as he ran. Everything was dashing for shelter. 

The street became darker and quieter, and the rifles 
alone broke the silence of the night. The electric lights 
were out, the current had failed. 

Hours passed, then heavy fists were heard banging at 
some door. Armed men clattered past our window and 
went on towards the prison. The unsuccessful Counter- 
revolution had disclosed the honest people. Another door 
banged in the next street : they were taking hostages. 
And in every part of Hungary doors are banging like 
that to-night . . . 

Balassagyarmat, May 4th. 

WE are still ascending our blood-covered Calvary ; later 
on its stations may show up clearly. There, at that corner, 
did they put the cross on our shoulders, there did they 
smite our faces, there did they spit into our eyes, there 
did we collapse under the cross, and nobody came to help 
us to bear it. We had to rise and drag it further. 

Yesterday we thought we had escaped. Yesterday the 
news came that the Cabinet had fallen and that the Red 
armies were everywhere on the run. To-day they have 
shunted the ill-success of their arms and the people's fury 
on to the bourgeoisie. The game of the Karolyi revolution 
is being repeated. Instead of pogroms, let there be 
massacres of Christians. They spoke of it at the market- 
place : Szamuelly is coming to restore order. The lives 
of the fallen Red soldiers must be revenged. 

Mobilisation ! . . . The newspaper seems to be composed 
entirelv of exclamation marks. ' To the factory- workers ! * 
Order ! ' ' Appeal ! ' ' Decree ! ' 

Comrade Pogany has sounded a tocsin of alarm : " The 
news from the front is bad. Our defeat at the front means 
the return of the Dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie, our 
victory means the conservation of the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat. Everything depends on organised labour. 


To-day the position is this : the revolutionary Proletariat 
of Budapest can no longer trust the front, on the contrary, 
it rests with the Proletariat of Budapest to save the front 
by its revolutionary impetus. The Dictatorship has 
reached its crisis. ..." 

Only after this confession did the newspaper give a 
belated account of the May festivities of the capital. The 
town in scarlet : hundreds of thousands in the streets : 
an exodus to the woods : illuminations, fireworks . . . And 
the poor people who expected to be fed on the festive 
occasion staggered back like madmen to the great in- 
certitude, hungry, and their eyes sore with the scarlet glare. 

The deadly colour of the red madness was still on the 
walls of the houses when at 2 p.m. the trembling Cabinet 
met in the great room of the Town Hall. Meanwhile rain 
had begun to fall, and the thirty millions' worth of red 
paper-cloth was soaked ; red streamed down the houses, 
the walls, the plaster statues, the pavement. Everything 
was painted red. It is said that the town looked like a 
huge blood-covered slaughter house. And then the news 
spread that the Dictatorship had fallen. 

The newspapers reported the details of the emergency 
meeting of the Workers' Council. Bel a Kun shouted to 
the audience that " The masses of the Red army are 
fleeing before the hireling armies of Imperialism. Looking 
now," he said with raised voice, " at Soviet Hungary, I 
remember a story by Gorki. Gorki went to Paris in search 
of the spirit of Revolution, seeking its aid for the 
struggling revolution of the Russian Proletariat. He 
searched for the ancient Revolution, crowned with the 
good Phrygian cap, he searched and inquired, and at last 
was led to a hotel where he found a courtesan, a woman 
fallen more or less to the level of a street prostitute, and 
he asked her not to give herself to the Czar, but to help 
the Revolution. But the woman the Revolution had 
turned into a courtesan gave herself none the less to the 
Czar ; so Gorki ends with these words : ' I wanted to 
spit my bloody, purulent saliva into her face.' " 

That is the kind of thing Bela Kun remembers when he 
looks at ' this Soviet Hungary ' and he dares to say it to a 
race to whom Louis Kossuth once said : "I prostrate 
myself before the greatness of the Nation." Kossuth 
prostrated himself while Bela Kun thinks of expectorating. 

I read the report to the end : nobody seems to have 
risen to choke the words in his throat. In his awful 
Ghetto-lingo Bela Kun went on : 


"... It is not the Rumanians, it is our own troops who 
are a danger to Budapest. We had to disarm the units 
which returned from the northern part of the Tisza, so as 
to save at least their weapons for the Proletariat. The 
morale of the troops is such that Budapest is helplessly 
at the mercy of a Rumanian attack. The question arises, 
comrades, shall we give up Budapest, or shall we fight 
for Budapest ? I have always told my comrades that I 
know neither morality nor immorality. I know of only 
two things ; those that are useful to Proletarianism and 
those which endanger Proletarianism. And I declare 
that it is dishonourable to tell the bourgeois the truth if 
this truth is to be hurtful to the Proletariat. But, com- 
rades, I will not deceive the Proletariat. I will tell you 
that the workers' battalions are wanting in the fighting 
spirit which would entitle us to think of the salvation of 
Budapest. . . ." 

Thus does this man speak of his own character, the man 
who in his absolute power admits that : " We were a 
small group, in opposition to the majority of working men, 
when we started the fight for the Dictatorship." And 
he reveals the terrible secret of his success : Karolyi's 
high treason. " I feel somehow that if the Dictatorship 
were to perish now, it would perish only because it gained 
a bloodless victory. It was too cheap, it was given us 
for nothing. . . ." 

In fact, it cost nothing except Judas' money and perhaps 
the existence of Hungary. For now Bela Kun has 
renounced the whole of Hungary and is ready to satisfy 
any territorial demands the Czechs, Rumanians and Serbs 
may raise, on condition that his power is left to him, and 
" Budapest, where the protest against capitalism can make 
a stand." 

His is no longer a human thirst for power : it is an 
insatiable animal greed, which allows the limbs of its prey 
to be torn off as long as it can devour the heart. After 
having bartered away the land which the nation has held 
for a thousand years in exchange for a single town, he has 
telegraphed to our hungry neighbours, offering them the 
ancient soil of the nation. And all he has to say to his 
comrades about this unexampled deed is this : "It was 
not for our pleasure that we sent those telegrams to the 
surrounding bourgeois states. ..." 

A stranger soul has never used stranger language in 

While Bela Kun was declaiming : "I am not in despair 


... I do not want to make you despair, comrades . . . 
you will never hear despondent words from my lips. . . . 
I shall never give it up. ... I say we won't be down- 
hearted . . . bad times, but not hopeless ..." news was 
brought to the assembly : the position in the field is not 
hopeless ! The attitude of the meeting altered at once. 
The orator became truculent once more. 

" If possible we must defend the Dictatorship before 
Budapest, through the Bakony, to Wiener Neustadt. . . . 
We must not resign our power ! " 

The Workers' Council then adopted a resolution that 
it is the duty of organised labour " to defend to the last 
drop of blood the achievements of the Dictatorship of the 

How this defence is to be conducted was revealed by a 
comrade called Surek : 

" Honoured Workers' Council . . . The bourgeoisie is 
grinning and rubbing its hands everywhere. We must 
freeze this grin on its face ! To-morrow we must go to the 
factories and our first duty will be to exterminate the 
bourgeoisie effectively, in the strictest sense of the word. 
We must keep our pledge that when the Entente comes 
here it shall find nothing but mountains of bourgeois 
corpses and a determined Proletariat. Enough bourgeois 
must not be left alive to form a Government." 

In deference to foreign countries this speech was not 
reported in the papers ; but political agitators are spreading 
the words of Comrade Surek. 

Now and then a bowed female form passes the window, 
her face set towards the prison, carrying food for some 
hostage. The observation post of the Reds has been 
established on the prison roof, just above the hostages. 
Let the Czechs shell it ! Soldiers stop the women, inspect 
their baskets and take whatever they fancy. Then they 
say, as a parting greeting : " That is the last dinner you 
need bring ! If the Czechs enter, we shall hang the swine." 

May 5th. 

THE bombardment has ceased and the town is creeping 
out of its holes. But people pass each other stealthily, 
without exchanging words, as if they dared no longer talk. 
And above the county hall the wind is toying with the red 
flag. A blood-red shawl is floating in the spring breeze : 
Szolnok has been retaken. 

In the afternoon Gregory, the Huszars' coachman, came 


running horror-stricken from the town : the Reds have 
declared that instead of Aladar Huszar they are going to 
arrest his wife. 

It was about ten o'clock when there was a knock at 
the door. 

" Let me go," I said to my friend. Are they coming 
for her, or has her husband come back, or are they searching 
for me ? The candle guttered in the wind, and at the garden 
gate three men with fixed bayonets emerged from the dark. 
They pushed me aside without saying a word and marched 
up the stairs into the room. I ran and got in front of them. 

" What do you want ? " 

They strode towards me menacingly and suddenly I 
found myself surrounded. They looked round suspiciously, 
and the leader said roughly : " Why is there a light in 
this house ? " 

I gave some explanation. One of the soldiers, a long, 
angry-faced man, leant over me threateningly : 

" This is no time to have lights burning. Just you look 
out ! If we catch you again we shall hang you on that 
lamp-post there, at the corner." 

When they went I felt as if a throttling hand had released 
my throat. 

May 6th. 

I HAVE been thinking of my mother all morning. This is 
her name day, and I cannot be with her. Fate is 
continually pushing back the hands of the clock that will 
strike the hour of our reunion. 

The town is beflagged with red flags. What has 
happened ? Szolnok ? Or is it some other victory ? 

The Powers of the Entente have ordered the Rumanians 
back, and now they are standing waiting beyond the Tisza. 
Meanwhile we perish here. 

Szamuelly has no time to come here, luckily : he is 
restoring order in the towns which put out white flags on 
the arrival of the Rumanians. Six Hungarians were hanged 
on the 3rd of May. Mrs. Huszar received the news, one of 
the victims being a relation of hers, Bela Batik, an only 
son the war left to his mother. Szamuelly sat in judgment 
over him. " Off you go to the gallows ! " said he, and he 
himself put the halter round his neck. Then he lit a 
cigarette and clapped Batik on the shoulder saying : "It 
will be all right, my hangman has the knack of it. Listen, 
you dog ! I grant you the time it takes me to smoke this 


cigarette. If you will tell me meanwhile the names of 
your accomplices I will let you off." He then sat down 
on a chair and smoked while the other stood under the 
gallows with the rope round his neck. The cigarette was 
finished. " Long live the White army and Hungary ! " 
Batik shouted, and Szamuelly released the trap with his 
own hand. 

Bloodstains multiply everywhere. We now know the 
names of at least two of the victims whose blood has been 
spilt on the chain bridge. They were Alexander Hollan and 
his father. They had worked hard all their lives and they 
were slaughtered by those who called themselves the 
leaders of the ' workers.' 

It happened on the 27th of April. All over Budapest 
it was forbidden for anybody to be in the streets after 
10 p.m. The window blinds had to be drawn and if a 
light was visible in a window the ' Terror Boys ' fired at it. 
Armed lorries were continually rushing about in the dark 
streets. The town listened with bated breath : hostages 
were being taken. Motors were racing up the castle hill : 
it was a hunt for human victims. When these had been 
collected a car crossed over to Pest and stopped on the 
bridge. The two Hollan s were hustled out on to the 
lower quay. Probably it was there that their captors 
intended to do the deed, but for some unknown reason 
they ordered their victims back again into the car. They 
started off but stopped again at the pillar and obliged the 
tortured men to get off. The motor-car waited near by 
and those in it heard a violent altercation going on in the 
dark. Shots were then fired and there followed two 
splashes in the Danube. 

Nobody has seen the two Hollans since. The story of 
the happenings was told by Karatson, a Secretary of State 
and one of their fellow prisoners. Then, one does not know 
how, the news filtered out and is being whispered to-day 
behind the closed doors and windows of Budapest. Many 
know it, only poor Alexander Hollan's wife is in ignorance. 
The Communists declare that her husband is in gaol, and 
at noon her little grey shadow waits day after day amongst 
the other women at the prison gate. She brings food and 
linen to her husband and sends messages, and thanks the 
terrorists at the gate for transmitting them. Meanwhile 
the Danube carries her dead gently towards the sea. 

The prisons are crowded with hostages awaiting their 
fate. Death perpetually hovers over them, for they are 
threatened daily with execution and daily one or another 


of them is led off to the prison yard. They blindfold him 
and fire over his head for fun. The hangmen of to-day 
greatly enjoy gloating over their victims' fear. Yet to 
produce terror is the delight of degraded souls. Hearsay 
reports hundreds who are the innocent inhabitants of 
prisons, but names cannot be ascertained. Yet we know 
there are Archduke Joseph Francis, Bishop Count John 
Mikes, Alexander Wekerle, the former Prime Minister, the 
president and the vice-president of the Hungarian Academy 
of Sciences, several former Ministers, court dignitaries and 
members of parliament, generals, lord lieutenants, land- 
lords, and many others, among them the aged Count Aurel 
Dessewffy, Lord Chief Justice, who was dragged by Bed 
soldiers from the side of his wife's deathbed to be cast into 
prison. There is the elite of the Hungarian nation, with 
many others whose names have not reached me. Many 
unknown people, students, women, farmers, manufacturers, 
even some workmen. They are all hostages prisoners 
in their own country pawns for the lives of Bela Kun, 
Szdmuelly, Pogany, Landler and other comrades. 

Hay 7th. 

Now and then comes the sound of distant gunfire. Whence 
does the wind bring it ? The Reds have beaten the Czechs 
back all along the Ipoly. A new poster has been stuck 
on the wall of the house opposite, it is an appeal to the 
inhabitants of Balassagyarmat by Comrades Riechmann, 
the political delegate, and Singer : 

" Comrades ! We have vowed on our ideals that if any 
among you who want to restore the old order raise their 
sacrilegious hands against us, we shall strike them down 
with our iron fists and smite them like a hammer smites 
the anvil. What do they want ? To bring back the old 
criminal order ? Do not attempt the impossible, because 
henceforth the slightest attempt will mean paying with 
your lives, and we will deal with you as with ordinary 
assassins who are a danger to human life. Behold your 
heroes, sitting in gaol and waiting for the sentence of 
justice for their vile, incredible treasons . . . What does 
the country mean to the bourgeois ? You have seen how 
it created happiness and comfort for them, while our share 
was misery . . . And we declare to the bourgeoisie of 
the whole world that we will not give up our town and our 
country, because now they are ours, it was we who defended 
them for fifty-two months . . . Long live the world 
revolution ! Long live Bela Kun ! " 


Comrades Singer and Riechmann ! They cannot even 
write the Hungarian language, and yet they dare to claim 
not only our country but its defence during the war which 
they successfully shirked for fifty- two months. Let them 
behold from their graves, those who have fallen on distant 
battlefields, those whose feet were frozen in paper boots,, 
those whose wives hungered and shivered in the queue ! 
Among my relations fourteen followed the call. All of 
them were young. Eight of them will never return. Do 
they behold these things from their graves ? 

At the end of October the disbanded soldiers came back 
from the world- war clamouring for pogroms. In November 
they were already demanding the blood of their own kin. 
The air was full of secret promptings : ' Everything shall 
be yours ! ' Later on there came the shout : * Plunder 
the gentle folk ! ' Those who first whispered saved thus 
their fortunes and their lives. And the people chose as 
its leaders the owners of the gin-shops and declared the- 
landlords their foes. And Comrades Singer and Riechmann 
declare to-day that our country is their country and no- 
longer ours. The leadership of the nation which was once 
Sze"chenyi's, Kossuth's, Deak's and Tisza's, is now theirs- 

May 8th. 

KUN has asked the Rumanians for an armistice.. 
His offer expresses deadly fear. If he can retain the rest 
of mutilated Hungary in his grip he will renounce any 
territory, is ready for any sacrifice. 

Madarescu, the commander of the Rumanian troops in 
Transylvania, answered three days later. In his conditions 
he never mentions the Soviet but always speaks of Hungary.. 
He insists on the disarmament of all Hungarian forces. He- 
requires that the Hungarian Command shall acquiesce in 
the execution of the ultimate conditions whatever they 
may be. He requires the delivery of all arms, guns,, 
ammunition, means of transport, equipment and provisions.. 
He demands all railway material and armoured trains, and. 
orders the return of all prisoners of war, hostages and 
civilian population carried off by the retiring army. This 
reparation is to be done without any obligation of 
reciprocity on Rumania's behalf. That is how Hungary 
is spoken to to-day ! And the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat, which has helped the advance of the Rumanians 
from the Maros and Szamos to the Tisza, may count thi& 


humiliating tone among its achievements. It is we alone 
feel the pain. When on the 1st of May the Rumanians 
crossed the Tisza, Bela Kun prepared for flight. The 
families of the People's Commissaries were packing up. 
Big sums were smuggled out of the country. Then the 
Rumanians were stopped by the Entente, so Bela Kun 
gained time. He organised the workers' battalions and 
to-day he answers Madarescu's armistice proposals by 
mobilisation. So we continue in agony. 

New orders have been posted up in the streets of 
Budapest : 

" To save the Proletarian Revolution we order the general 
mobilisation of the Proletariat. Budapest will from this 
date be under martial law. We appeal to the Proletariat 
to do its duty to the last. 

The Revolutionary Cabinet." 

And the hated and persecuted middle classes are ordered 
to pay the blood-tax for the salvation of their executioners : 
*' Every officer of the reserve who is under forty-five years 
of age must report for active service. Those who refuse 
to obey this order ..." If the middle-classes do not 
obey, they are threatened with the Revolutionary Tribunal ; 
the Proletarians, however, if they enlist, " will re- 
ceive in addition to their pay the usual wages of 

No, it is not yet over, indeed it is beginning once more. 

In Budapest the comrade Commissaries and their wives 
are reviewing the troops, and the electrician Commander- 
in-Chief is starting in the royal train from his Headquarters 
to inspect the troops in the provinces. 

The Galician Neros are now quite at home in their bloody 
and fantastic role. Their chronicle, * The People's Voice ' 
which until lately has spent all its energies in undermining 
authority and in attacking militarism, now reports in 
rapture : " Comrade Bohm inspected the troops and 
expressed his complete satisfaction at their appearance. 
After the review the Commander-in-Chief travelled with 
his whole staff to the front, where he inspected the advance 
line and received the reports of his generals. Comrade 
Bohm has expressed his confidence ..." 

It is an old familiar text, only the name of Comrade 
Bohm has been substituted for that of the Archduke. 
1914 . . . 1919 ! 

Here in this place it is not very easy to hold a review, 
for the greater part of the garrison has evaporated. The 
place of Captain Bajatz has been filled by a local butcher's 




assistant who commands the army from a coffee house. 
Comrade Riechmann is the chief of the general staff. 

Towards evening the news spread that the Czechs are 
going to surround Balassagyarmat to-night. A nightingale 
was singing in the moonlit garden, and voices rose in the 
garden next door : 

" If the Czechs do not come to-night it will be the end 
of the hostages. The soldiers have been shouting all day 
under the prison walls ' You are going to die, you swine ! ' 

At that moment a cannon roared in the vineyards. 

" Bless your sweet little throat," exclaimed the voice of 
an old woman. 

" Don't bless it so loud or you will find yourself in prison.'* 

" But the nightingale ! " stammered the old woman. 

" Of course," someone laughed ; " I thought you referred 
to the Czech gun." 

Wild firing came from the Ipoly, and bullets whistled 
right and left. We ran towards the house. Near the shed 
a bullet passed so close to me that I felt the wind of it : 
it passed over my head and struck the wall like a mad 
wasp. The shutters of the houses were closed rapidly, 
they give one at any rate a feeling of shelter. Bullets 
continued to spatter on the walls. Every now and then 
we rushed out, looked round in the moonlight, and then 
rushed back again. All the while the wasps are buzzing 
round the house. 

May 9th. 

ON the sunny side of the street, tired, ill-looking, 
prematurely aged people came slowly from the direction 
of the prison. The hostages have been released. The 
order came from Budapest : 

" The Soviet takes hostages when danger is imminent. 
As the Soviet is at present in no immediate danger, we 
order their provisional release." 

The wife of a railwayman came into the yard with eyes 
red with weeping. The soldiers had deserted their post, 
so Comrade Riechmann and the butcher's commander 
ordered the railwaymen out. They at least love their 
country, and last winter they opposed the Czechs. Now 
they have driven them back again, having made forty 
prisoners. But thirty-eight railwaymen are missing, and 
Comrade Bohm is going to credit internationalism with 
this victory won by Hungarian nationalism. 

A carriage rattled down the street. Nowadays whenever 


a carriage stops anywhere all the windows and walls of 
the neighbourhood are on the alert. We noticed that 
everybody was looking in our direction. 

Gregory the coachman put his head through the door : 

" Here they are ! " 

Detectives. I hid my notes in the sofa cushions and 
fled before them from room to room. They requisitioned 
uniforms and field-glasses. They also inspected the library 
and told us that the piano was public property. Even 
sewing machines are taken by the Government, and it 
makes no difference if the owner is a tailor. Thus are 
they killing home industries. They took all the tobacco 
they could find, nor did opera-glasses escape ; " The army 
needs them. We give no receipt. These things no longer 
belong to you, nothing belongs to you." And they took 
them. As they left they questioned the maid in the 
corridor : 

" And where may your master be ? " 

I heard the girl reply mockingly, " In town ! " 

" Don't play the fool ! " the detective shouted, " we 
know he has run away. We are searching the whole 
county for him." 

Again the girl chaffed them. " What an idea ! How 
can he have run away ? They are pulling your leg. He 
comes home every night." 

" Well I never," said the man to his companion, and 
they whispered among themselves. The maid thought 
herself very clever and laughed contentedly. 

When they had left, Gregory the coachman came in. 

" They said they will come back and watch for him 
every night." 

Mrs. Huszar advised me to go back to Sziigy till this 
zeal blew over. 

In the afternoon the sky became clouded. The fusilade 
died down. The stuffy heat preceding a storm weighed 
heavily on us. In town they were burying some soldiers, 
unfortunate victims of the Red war. The passers-by 
stopped on the kerb and stared at the funeral, while the 
procession passed slowly under red flags. A red cross was 
borne in front of it, then came the coffins, draped in red, 
followed by two vulgar-looking girls, in red dresses, carrying 
wreaths of red flowers tied with red ribbons. Under the 
grey sky, on the grey road, death, dressed in red, proceeded 
towards the cemetery. And among the green fields, in 
verdant peace, the garden of Sziigy was waiting for me. 


Sziigy, May llth. 

SINCE I left Sziigy the almond trees have blossomed ; so 
beauty came to meet me, and my heart lost some of its 
wildness and I felt less lonely and sad. 

When I reached the bottom of the neglected garden I 
saw that someone was sitting on the stone seat leaning his 
elbows on the table and staring towards the sun. For an 
instant I was taken aback : who was this man ? Then 
I remembered : he must be one of the officers quartered 
on us. Abject distress was depicted on his downcast face. 

It was despair that drove many patriotic officers through 
hunger and poverty into the Red army, and among the 
humiliated they are the worst ; trampled, threatened, 
insulted, hungry, shivering and watched ; the helpless 
prey of a typewriter-agent commander-in-chief, of the 
delegates to the front, of scum. 

So the pathless garden has appealed to another 
unfortunate. He too would like to escape, but cannot; 
he too would like to hope, and there is nothing to hope for. 
What is in store for us ? Every attempt we have made 
has broken down, our hopes from abroad, our hopes from 
our own efforts. The Red press is howling for blood. 
" Death to the bandits of the Counter-revolution ! " 

The greater part of Hungary's aristocracy fled abroad 
in March : the Hungarian peasantry keeps obstinately 
silent on its isolated farms, in its sequestered villages. So 
there are none left for a counter-revolution but those who 
for a thousand years have borne the weight of our destinies. 
Once they were the electors of kings, when they were 
known as the gentry, later as the educated classes, and 
to-day as the middle classes. They have always been to 
the fore when death or toil was demanded of them, and 
always in the background when royal favours and grants 
were distributed ; but never have they been mediocre in 
fibre. This class will be for ever the trunk of the oak, 
the power that supports the tree and stands up against 
the blows of the axe, yet does not receive the rays of the 
sun. Now the axe has fallen. Men were wanted who 
dared to die, and in Budapest the first attempt at a 



counter-revolution flared up. But somebody betrayed it, 
and those caught were sentenced to life-long imprisonment 
and their leaders executed. 

Then came the news that the ' Cabinet ' had sent to 
the Hungarian Legation in Vienna one hundred and forty 
million crowns to finance a revolution ; whereupon Hajob, 
the Secretary of the Legation, and the patriotic Hungarian 
employees stormed the Communist Legation. The money 
fell into the hands of the counter-revolutionaries. 

' The Red Newspaper ' foamed as it reported the matter. 
Our hopes rose. It was said that over twenty thousand 
Hungarians, able to bear arms, were in Vienna, and in our 
imagination the right bank of the Danube was already 
aflame. People whispered : " the Hungarians of Vienna 
have started, it is only a question of days and they will 
knock over the Dictatorship." Then one night about 
fifty officers crossed the frontier and were disarmed by 
the Austrian frontier guards. 

Still there was hope. The ideals of the Budapest 
conspiracy survived its martyrs. The thread was not 
dropped. Brave men began once more to organise. It 
was decided that the aeroplane which was to give the 
signal for the rising was to fly over Budapest on the 4th 
of May at three o'clock in the morning. On the eve of 
the event a few officers, confident of victory, appeared in 
a restaurant with white roses and with restored decorations 
and insignia of rank, and made the gypsy band play the 
national anthem. This stupid demonstration naturally 
aroused the attention of spies, and the same night Colonel 
Dormandy, Captain Horvath and several brave officers 
and officials were arrested. 

When I reached the house a letter was waiting for me 
from Mrs. Huszar. A clergyman of the reformed church 
is going to-morrow to his parents who live on the other 
bank of the river, and he will take me with him. One 
has only to ford the river and one is safe. 

May 12th. 

I HAD a curious dream last night. I dreamt the moon was 
shining on the manor-house. I had to escape, and was 
implored to hurry. Somebody hastily pressed a bundle 
tied up in a handkerchief and a staff into my hand. Then 
I found myself on the main road along the river, alone in 
the silvery light of the moon. The water was visible 
between the trees and sparkled brightly. Then I noticed 


that the bundle in my hand became heavier and heavier. 
I looked at it and found that it was all covered with blood ; 
blood was streaming out of it and running down my staff 
till it covered the road. 

Later I told Mrs. Beniczky my dream. " Don't go," 
said she ; " a better opportunity will come." So I stayed. 

In the afternoon the commander of the artillery in the 
village came to take leave. The Czechs are retiring all 
along the line, the Reds in pursuit. The Rumanians also 
have lost the initiative. In Germany the awful conditions 
of peace have provoked an outburst of Spartacism. The 
Germans are making an alliance with the Russians. France 
does not care ; she requires her troops for troubles at home. 
The domination (such as it was) of the Entente in Hungary 
has come to an end. The gunner looked down in despair : 
" The Soviet is going to rule the world," said he. 

If this is true I shall not escape ; I shall go back to my 
mother and report myself. One gets tired of being a 

There was a knock at the door and in came Mrs. Huszar. 
She too was pale and spoke in w r hispers : 

" Bad news. It is all over, and the town is full of 
detectives. You mustn't stay any longer ; you must 
leave here immediately." 

" And your husband ? Supposing it's true that things 
are going to continue like this for years ? " 

" I've just heard from him," said Mrs. Huszar, " he's 
hiding in the woods. He's having a bad time of it too, but 
then he is a man." She had no thought for herself, only 
for others. " There's no need for you to stay with us." 

So we agreed that I should be informed as soon as the 
clergyman returned and get ready to start. 

The moon was filtering through the trees and in the 
blue light on the lawn the white fluffy dandelion clocks 
swayed like tiny Chinese lanterns on the ends of miniature 
poles. The breeze swept across the grass and extinguished 
the lanterns. The fluff floated in the moonlight : the 
image of our torn hopes. 

May 13th. 

THIS morning a soldier I had not seen before came in 
through the garden gate, bringing the officer's dinner in a 
canteen. He put down the canteen on the steps of the 
terrace and went into the kitchen. The men have ordered 


roast veal for their own dinner. When he came back he 
-saw that a dog was licking the officer's food. 

" What does it matter ? " said he ; " dogs can feed out 
of the same trencher." 

May 14lh. 

THE last frost was shimmering on the grass, and machine- 
;guns were clattering away as if needles of steel were sewing 
a, shroud in the air. 

A cloud rose on the main road, as if raised by a whirlwind : 
, carriage came racing along at a mad gallop. A young 
man was driving, giving the horses their head, and as he 
leant forward I saw that he had a gentlemanly appearance. 
That was all I could see through the dust ; the carriage 
passed in a flash. 

Shots were fired at it. " Stop him ! " howled a hoarse, 
thick voice from a cottage. 

They are going to arrest him ; already a mounted 
trooper is galloping after him. But his horse shied at the 
shooting, rose on its hind legs, and then swerved with his 
rider into the fields. Meanwhile the carriage had dis- 
appeared, and my heart followed it. The fate of the driver 
is mine, his escape is my escape. I do not know who he 
was. I could not even see his face clearly, but he is 
4 wanted,' so we are friends. It is only thieves and male- 
factors who are not hounded in Hungary to-day. They 
ure free, they judge, rule, and speak in the name of the 
country. Those who are hunted are my brethren. 

May 16th. 

THE garden has never attained such supreme beauty ; 
it seems to open in the morning as for an embrace. Its 
silence was interrupted this morning, however, by a sound 
like a giant blue-bottle humming in the distance. It flew 
fast, came nearer and nearer, its hum became a roar. A 
motor-car was racing along, a grey, luxurious field car, like 
the one the King used to have. I looked out between 
the shrubs. The car stopped near the path, and the driver 
in his leather coat leant forward, adjusting something 
near the steering wheel. There were three passengers in 
the car, the one on the right, lolling back among the 
-cushions, a fat, high-shouldered, short-necked, broad Jew, 


whose very attitude was unpleasant. Under his flat Soviet 
cap greasy black hair curled over his neck. His clean- 
shaven face reminded one of a music-hall artist. 

The car started and disappeared in a cloud of dust. I 
shrank back with disgust. Why had that face come here ? 
Where had I seen it before ? I shuddered. It was as 
though a soft slimy toad had suddenly appeared on the 
surface of a clear sylvan pool. The garden closed over 
the vision and the flowering lilacs effaced its impression. 
In the evening I was told that the man in the princely 
motor, with his suite, was Joseph Pogany. 

I suppose I ought to be amused. Here am I, outlawed, 
sentenced to death, and sleuth-hounds have been let loose 
upon my tracks. The chauffeur is probably our house- 
keeper's fiance, the same who was set to spy on our home. 
And these people who have been searching for me for 
weeks were standing just now a few paces from me ; they, 
openly, free, while I was hiding in the bushes. May the 
same fortune attend their search for others. 

May 17th. 

YESTEKDAY a newspaper was thrown from the train. The 
old middle-class newspapers have stopped publication even 
in their new Communist disguise. Following the Russian 
example there are now only official papers ; ' The People's 
Voice,' ' The Red Newspaper,' ' The Red Soldier,' ' The 
Young Proletarian ' ; Vildg, the old newspaper of the 
Freemasons, has remained, though it disguises its identity 
iinder the name of The Torch and serves as official mouth- 
piece of the Commissary for Education ; and there is the 
old capitalistic Pester Lloyd used by the revolutionary 
Cabinet as its semi-official, German mouthpiece. 

The newspaper went from house to house through the 
village and at last reached us. It proclaims in gigantic 
type : " Victories of the Proletarian army. Lenin 
congratulates Bela Kun by wireless on his victories." So 
Lenin is speaking once more ! 

The sun is shining and yet the horizon appears dark and 
sad. Is it really possible that they should triumph in the 
end ? Suddenly I laughed : Comrade Landler has pub- 
lished an article in ' The People's Voice,' telling the story 
of how he visited a workmen's battalion with Be*la Kun 
and Pogany. To quote him verbatim : " When they saw 
us they cheered. Then a curious thing happened our 


comrades asked for our autographs. We were obliged to 
give our autographs, not to one, not to ten, but to half 
a battalion. He who cannot interpret this incident must 
be afflicted with blindness. An army which is on such a 
high level of culture that its men, a few miles behind the 
front, ask for nothing but autographs, an army like that 
cannot fail to be victorious I " 

The paper was still in my hand when I came to a little 
plot of land below the garden known by the name of c the 
parson's green.' It used to be glebe land but Mrs. Beniczky 
has rented it for many years. She has just been informed 
by the Directorate that this is to be her last year of tenancy. 
However, they are graciously allowing her corn to grow 
there. John Kispal, the gardener, a member of the 
Directorate, was hoeing in it, and behind him a small girl 
was sowing corn in the furrows. When Master Kispal 
perceived the newspaper in my hand, he leant on his hoe 
and sucked at his pipe so violently that he drew his cheek* 
in. Then he sent the girl for tobacco and looked round 
cautiously. That is the way people have nowadays when 
they want to speak openly. 

" Tell me, Miss," said he, " what is going to happen ? " 

" How should I know ? " 

" Well, the gentle folks always know more than we do ; 
they get it out of their brains. Brains can't be taught." 
He gave a long pull at his pipe. " Nowadays they put a 
man up against the wall if he says what he thinks. Mistress 
Bakalar has been carried off in chains, because she could 
not keep her mouth shut. She said that the Reds were 
greater enemies than the enemy. It was no help to her 
that she was a first-class Proletarian, rule-butts played 
havoc with her head." The gardener looked down pen- 
sively. " Even that is not the worst of it. What's worse 
is that they are forsaking the country. How can any 
Hungarian do such a thing ? " 

" Those in power to-day are not Hungarian." 

" What ? You don't mean to say that Bela Kun is 
not a Hungarian ? " 

" Why, his real name is Cohen ! " 

Kispal's mouth opened wide. " If that is so, the gentle 
folk have treated us very unfairly. Why did they allow 
such a thing ? Believe me, if he had come here under his 
true name the people would have had none of him." 

When I reached the house the soldiers were making a 
great noise in the kitchen. They told the maid that an 
army order had arrived : the 32nd Artillery would have 


to leave this place. A small battery would come in its 
place with a hundred and fifty men. But they were not 
quite sure about obeying this order yet : Sergeant Isidor 
Grosz has a sweetheart near by, and Katz, the political 
delegate, does not want a change either. So they have 
sent to Budapest to ask Bela Kun to change the gunners. 
They will stay on with the 8 c.m. guns, and if they do not 
get their way they are going to blow up all the ammunition. 
Comrade Pogany was in a temper when he left here. In 
the morning when he rushed into the commander's office 
he shouted and did not say " good morning " to anybody. 
He asked an officer : 

{ How many recruits, and what stuff are they made of ? " 

* Eighty men, poor fellows, mostly flat-footed." 

' Why did they join up ? " 

' For pay, clothes and boots," the officer answered. 

' Not for the ideals of the Proletariat ? " Pogany insisted. 

( I can't tell. The matter was never mentioned." 
The People's Commissary turned his back on him 
furiously and ordered the officers to parade in front of 
the men ; then he asked the latter : " Are you satisfied 
with the comrade officers ? " After that, though the Red 
press describes his indomitable courage at the head of 
storming troops and gushes over his self-sacrificing heroism, 
he retired to a safe distance behind the front. 

And the gunners are going to remain another day because 
they want to have a dance as a send-off. The men say 
that Isidor Grosz has come to an arrangement with Bela 
Kun he came back with his pockets bulging with money, 
so now he does not mind leaving. It is to be hoped that 
none of the others will take the thing amiss : there is a 
lot of ammunition in the woodshed and on the terrace. 
The gate stands open, and there is nobody to guard it. 
Even children steal in and break the boxes open, stealing 
the cartridge cases and the cordite to make fireworks with. 
The maid went to the dance to-night. There was a 
Gypsy band. The soldiers danced and " the Proletarian 
army, as a sign of its great, self-respecting discipline," 
emptied several barrels of wine. 

May 19th. 

THE Red press is shrieking with sarcasm, mixed with 
hatred : " The parody of a Government in Arad ! " What 
is it, an opposition Government ? Surely not a Hungarian 


Government ? But it is. It was formed in Arad on the 
5th of May, two weeks ago, and we, living in the same 
country, have received the news only to-day ! That is 
how The Terror deals with our news. At last . . . ! I 
read the manifesto of Arad over and over again. " The 
real leaders of the nation being now in prison or banished, 
we assume the leadership provisionally." 

A Hungarian voice, after a long silence. It does not 
boast, it has none of the conceit of the distributors of 
autographs, it is manly and modest like the man who is 
at the head of this provisional Government, though for 
an instant his name repelled me. Karolyi ! Awful 
memories are connected with that name, and an irremov- 
able curse. After Michael Karolyi comes another Karolyi ; 
but Count Julius Karolyi's personality stands high above 
the name, as if in expiation of the crimes which another 
bearer of it has committed. The Foreign Secretary, 
Baron Bornemissza, has been for years the leader of the 
Hungarians whom fate has cast among the Rumanians. 
The Minister of War is not a typewriter- agent or a second- 
rate journalist, but a real soldier. And all the names are 
of this stamp but one : Varjassy has been Kdrolyi's and 
Jaszi's man. But that matters little now, and the more 
4 The People's Voice ' fulminates, the greater is my joy. 
" Who are these nobodies ? " the Communist paper asks. 
41 Hungarians ! " replies the air, replies life, replies morning 
and night. And hope made golden promises. 

Dense masses of soldiers came from the village this 
afternoon, and the gunners of the 32nd came to harvest 
in our garden. They are leaving this evening and flowers 
are required for the train. So they made a dead set at 
everything that blossomed in this quiet realm of green. 
Branches cracked, the garden moaned. Within an hour 
the dreamy little shrubs were changed into scarecrows, 
the grass was purple with the blossom of lilac. Branches 
were twisted and cut down to stumps, wounded plants were 
stripped of twigs and leaves. They have trampled Spring 
to death. I raged inwardly ; let them have the flowers, 
but why this mad destruction ? I went into the house : 
I could not bear the sight of it. 

May 20th-2l8t. 

AFTER the tepid rain in the night the sun has come out 
from among the clouds, and the ill-treated shrubs look less 


hopeless, laden as they are with glittering drops. The rain 
has made the grass raise its head and some forgotten lilacs 
have opened their blossoms. 

Ever since break of day the air has been humming above 
our heads. Steel moles are mining the clouded sky. They 
are invisible till they fall with a terrific crash and raise 
mole-hills on the ground. 

The Reds have retaken Miskolcz from the Czechs . Eleven 
counter-revolutionaries have been arrested in Budapest. 
In the ' Frankel Leo ' barracks a memorial tablet has been 
unveiled to the French Communist leader of that name 
who was born in Old Buda. 

In other countries there is peace, there is a future. They 
awake daily without fear, their dreams are not nightmares ; 
they have doors they can close, cupboards that are not 
searched, a hearth which is not shared by uncivilised, 
spiteful strangers. There one may sing and laugh. One 
may even speak openly, happily. They have music, 
pictures, and books, and no one comes to take them from 
them. Man is allowed to create, their minds produce 
songs and sculptures and pictures, scholars pursue their 
studies, and women have not forgotten to smile. And in 
the stifling fetid atmosphere of ugliness, humiliation, 
reckless brutality, restraint, slavery, and hatred, I am 
homesick for an hour's beauty. Just for an hour to have 
things as they used to be ! 

Mrs. Beniczky had a visitor to-day, an elderly lady who 
lived in the village. I escaped quietly to my room, and 
although the visitor spoke in whispers, now and then she 
forgot herself and then her voice reached me. Suddenly 
she became aware that she was raising her voice and pulled 
herself up. 

" I understand that a poor relation of the Huszars is 
staying with you, where is she ? " she asked anxiously. 
" In the next room ? Goodness, then I ought to . . ." 

" Don't worry," said Mrs. Beniczky, laughing quietly, 
" she is hard of hearing." 

Since I have been in hiding goodness knows how many 
things I have been. First an escaped teacher, then a 
nurse, then a poor relation ; now I am deaf. Yet under 
false names, under all sorts of disguises, almost invariably 
I have met with kindness. Of course some people 
naturally tried to impress me with their own importance, 
and I shall be for ever grateful to them, for they have 
taught me what it feels like to have to put up with other 
people's conceit. There was a ' comrade ' officer of the 


Reds who used to make me feel fearfully small I -was 
only a ' poor relation.' He scarcely ever took any notice 
of me, and when I said anything he looked ostentatiously 
bored. poor relations, unwanted superfluities, you have 
been my teachers, once I was one of you, and when these 
times are over never shall I forget that I am of your kin. 

When the visitor left I sat before the fire and read 
Petofi's poems to my hostess. Slowly the day closed in 
and when the light failed we sat talking quietly in the dusk. 

" It was lucky that I did not let you go with the parson," 
said Mrs. Beniczky ; " God has preserved you." 

The news had reached us in the afternoon. Although I 
had refused to go with him, the Reverend Sebastian Kovacs 
had started off to see his parents, but while he was fording 
the river both the Czechs and the Reds had fired on him 
from the banks. He threw himself into the water a 
woman who saw the whole thing recognised him and came 
to tell us. That was the last that was heard of him. 

" If you had been there, if they had arrested you, or... 
Do you remember your dream the previous night ? " 

I shuddered : once more I saw the white moonlit road 
and the little bloody bundle of my dream. Again I felt 
the groping hand around me. For two months it has 
reached out for me, missed me, come closer, missed me 

" There was no reason why you should go," said Mrs. 
Beniczky, " this is a sequestered place, and you are as safe 
here as if your mother were watching over you." 

Then, all of a sudden, I saw my mother again. She 
was not visible, yet I could see the poise of her head, her 
blue eyes, and the wonderful smile on that delicate, narrow 

Petofi's book was lying open on my knee : " Mother, our 
dreams do never lie. . . ." 

And in the dark the smile was still present. 

May 22nd. 

LAST night two officers staying in the house came into the 
dining-room bringing maps which they spread on the table. 
Their faces were the picture of despair. Their position 
has daily become more insufferable and orders from General 
Headquarters have now reached the political agents at 
the front that all officers are to be watched by ' reliable 
individuals ' the said reliable individuals being Jews in 



every case. This routine was begun yesterday, and two 
soldiers with fixed bayonets are posted in front of every 
officer's quarters. They take it in turn to follow their 
officer wherever he goes, they eat at his table, they sleep 
in his room. This is in strict accordance with the Russian 
plan, only Trotsky favours Chinese soldiers for the job. 

Voices sounded* at the door and the officers snatched 
up their maps. A soldier with his bayonet fixed stood in 
the doorway. The shade of the hanging lamp cast the 
light low on the table, so that the soldier's face remained in 
the dark ; only his repulsive, protruding eyes shone as 
they passed inquisitively round the room. Then he 
shouted to the officers : " Come along, comrades ! " So 
we were left alone once more, and only the roar of guns 
broke the silence of the night. 

At dawn the little village became a swarming camp. 
A.S.C. carts covered with tarpaulins came clattering from 
the direction of Balassagyarniat. The banks of the Ipoly 
are being evacuated and the soldiers are hastily packing. 
Camp kitchens and mounted troops clatter along the main 
road. Dust, clouds of dust. Buglers sounding the ' fan- 
in ' and nobody paying the slightest attention. 

Mrs. Beniczky and I held a council this morning. If 
the Czechs are really going to occupy Balassagyarmnt, 
nobody would think of looking for me there. What shall 
I do ? Finally we decided that I could go, and we took 
leave of each other ; but it was with a heavy heart I left 
the old house and the garden behind me. 

John Kispal, the gardener, a member of the Directorate, 
proposed to help me reach the town. As we came to the 
barrier at Sziigy an armed soldier barred our road and 
pointed his bayonet at me. " Where are you going ? 
Have you got a pass ? No ? Then back you go ! " 

" Steady, man, steady \ " said John Kispal with an air 
of importance. " Don't you see she is with me ? I am 
a member of the Directorate, and don't you forget it, my 
boy ! " 

The soldier looked at me. " Why are you going into 
the town ? What have you got in that parcel ? " Then 
he growled : " Well, you can go to hell if you like, so far 
as I am concerned." 

John Kispal stepped out proudly and his face showed 
clearly the satisfaction he felt at being such an influential 
man that even Red soldiers got out of his way. I couldn't 
help chuckling : in Soviet Hungary a member of the 
Directorate uses his influence to help me to escape and 


carries my bundle on his back. Meanwhile the warrant 
for my arrest lies on my writing table at home. 

" What's going on here ? " John Kispal asked two 
passing farmers. The men shrugged their shoulders 
contemptuously : " The Directorate of Balassagyarmat is 
on the run," said one of them. " They are afraid of 
sharing the fate of their colleagues in Fiilek." He made 
a circle round his neck with his finger and looked upwards. 

We had been walking for some time when the gardener 
suddenly turned to me : 

" I should like to ask you, Miss, what you think about 
it all ? Shall I come to any harm when things come right ? 
That is always on my mind, because I don't think a man 
ought to assume that things will always remain as they are. 
They may, but they may change too. It is wise to arrange 
matters so that whether things remain as they are or 
whether they change one may always be nice and snug." 

Guns thundered from the vineyards and a shell shrieked 
across the Ipoly and fell near the road, raising a cloud up 
to the sky. Not a single carriage was visible on the road 
now : the motors of the delegates-to-the-front, the members 
of the Directorate and the ' reliable individuals ' have all 
been swept from the landscape by the wind raised by a 
single shell. In the distance behind us they were tearing 
along at a wild gallop, off the road whenever possible. I 
began to feel safe. There is less danger in shells than in 

Bugle calls could still be heard in the direction of the 
town, and my pulses began to throb. What if the barriers 
on the other side were to close and I should have to stay 
on in my Red prison ! 

" I haven't any papers," the gardener said ; " you'll 
have to go on alone. Go straight through the High Street." 
He was pale and obviously afraid. So presently I found 
myself alone. I jumped over the rails : people were 
running towards the houses so nobody took any notice of 
me, and I reached the Huszars' house in safety. Mrs. 
Huszar and the children welcomed me with open arms. 

A soldier was following me down the street, stopping at 
every corner to sound the alarm. I noticed that his bugle 
was ornamented with a huge red tassel which the rising 
wind blew against his mouth. And as I looked back in 
the twilight it seemed to me that the bugler was calling 


May 23rd. 

I HAD hurried in vain. The Directorate has come back y 
BO I have to remain in my Red prison. The battle last 
night caused many casualties, and the towns near the front 
are bewailing their dead. Everything that is Hungarian 
sorrows. The wheel of Fate is turning in blood, slowly r 
terribly. It is turned by the Powers, but it is our blood. 

Noon came, then afternoon, again the enchanting hour 
of sunset on the banks of the Ipoly. The sun stands on 
the hills above the bank and pulls at the golden net which 
he cast over the valley in the morning. Like a fisherman 
he pulls the light, glittering net over the fields and crops. 
The net glides on, fast, without a sound. Now and then 
its gold is arrested for an instant by a shrub, by the verdure 
of a poplar, by the aspen of the river banks. Then the net 
glides on, and the trees, the crops, the water, the meadows, 
grow dark. The net has reached the horizon. For an 
instant, like a golden line, it lingers on the blue crest of the 
hills, then suddenly it dips into the west on the other side 
and is gone. 

I love this light : it has touched the steeples of our 
churches, the thresholds of our cottages, from one end to 
the other of our country. For a thousand years it has 
come to us with dawn, over Transylvania, over the 
Carpathians, the Great Plain, over the waters of the Tisza 
and the Danube, over the fields of Banat, over the Carso, 
over the blue, salt bay of Fiume, over all our ancient, 
humiliated counties, over Buda and Pest, over Pressburg 
and Trencsen. All that has been torn asunder is united 
again in its net. But the catch of the great fisher is scanty 
now : he carries naught but another Hungarian day, a 
day of anguish, of blood, and of tears. 

Only occasional rifle shots sounded round the house now ; 
the town was going to rest. The electric light went out 
early to-night, so Mia. Huszar and I sat facing each other 
by candle-light. 

Shells screeched through the air above the roof. What 
is happening to our country ? For days we have had no 
newspapers. Tribunals of Terror sit at night. Racing 
motors spread death and Bela Kun speaks of plans for 
tens of years. 



The clock on the wall has stopped; goodness knows 
how long we have been sitting like this. Better to do 
something than sit and think, so I fetched my patience 
cards. Tiny cards, the coloured toys of an old world. 
Crowned kings, ermine cloaked, powdered little queens, 
haughty young knights, they all look as if in their vanity 
they were leaning over a mirror to see their reflection. 
When I left home my mother packed these cards in my 
bag, and they have become my only luxury. Whenever 
I look at them they tell me something gently, in whispers, 
of my home. Soothers of worries, prophets, fortune- 
tellers ! We laid the cards slowly out on the table, col- 
lected them, started anew. How thin my hands have 
grown. . . . 

Over the roof, high up, another shell whines. Then a 
splintering crash. Now the other side answers. . . . 

" The Reds . . ." 

" That one came from the Czechs." 


" There's another Red." 

We spoke mechanically, for by now we had got to know 
the voices of the guns. Meanwhile the little queens and 
kings on the table came and went by the light of the candle. 

" The Czechs . . ." 

Three weeks ! For three weeks it has been like this. 
Yesterday, to-day, to-morrow it is always the same. 
There are no longer nights and days : there is nothing but 
monotonous, continuous explosions. 

What if it is to be always like this ? What if this is to 
continue for ever ! The very air seemed to shudder. 
From the opposite side of the table a pair of wide-open, 
fixed eyes stared at me. 

" The Czechs . . ." 

Machine-guns were rattling somewhere near the Ipoly, 
nnd the dogs barked. Another bullet struck the wall. 

" The Reds . . ." 

Again the windows shook with the detonation. At the 
end of the room the door opened by itself, making room 
for hopeless despair, which entered and sat down to keep 
us company. 

May 24th-25ih. 

IF after the bloody battles of the war the victorious generals 
had occupied our country their conquest would have put 


an end to the slaughter. But Hungary was occupied 
without fighting by twenty-four Jews. The state of war 
has become permanent, the slaughter continues, and 
worst of all misfortunes for months there have been 
continuous executions. Sentence of death is everywhere. 
Some take a long time to realise it, but it is there none the 

Dreadful news reaches us from Budapest : the city is 
starving ; and in answer to this, Bela Kun declared at a 
meeting of the Workers' Council : " There are enough 
supplies to prevent the Proletariat of Budapest from going 
hungry." He forbore to speak of the inhabitants of the 
city, only of the privileged Proletarians, which for him 
means the Jewish intellectuals and, possibly, those who 
profess to be Red Proletarians. They will not go hungry. 
If Hungarians do ... Bela Kun shrugs his shoulders. 

The cruel ingenuity of the People's Commissaries is 
inexhaustible. Whatever they do not dare to do them- 
selves is done by the Workers' and Soldiers' Council, and 
as a silent means for wholesale executions food tickets have 
been introduced. The inhabitants are divided into classes, 
one class receives bread, the other is denied it. Those who 
receive red tickets the workmen performing manual 
labour, Red soldiers and all the Red e'lite will still be able 
to eat their fill. The recipients of blue tickets officials, 
teachers, widows, pensioners may continue hungry. Those 
who receive no food tickets will have to die of starvation. 
Thus it is possible to carry out executions merely by the 
use of coloured scraps of paper. 

" The classification of the head of the household will apply 
to all those members of the family who live with him." This 
order reveals the intended extermination of a class : the 
children of the Hungarian educated classes are to be 
exterminated with their parents. The Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat, which carries its class war into everything, 
even into its administration of justice, its ' First Reader ' 
and the nursery schools, uses daily bread as a weapon of 
war. Never has cruelty been displayed with such cynicism. 
Not only does the Dictatorship of the Proletariat make 
a distinction between adults, but it extends its favouritism 
to the children. It distributes food with discrimination, 
the children of the ruling class enjoying a preference. Let 
the miserable little ones who had the misfortune to be born 
in the grey, modest homes of officials or other intellectuals 
instead of having seen the light of the world as offspring 
of labourers or Red soldiers, let those poor little children 


starve and perish. Since Herod nothing so wantonly cruel 
has been known in human history. 

May 26th-29th. 

FOB two months the blood-reeking news has been coming. 
At first we shook our heads incredulously. Rubbish ! 
Visions of a distracted mind. Terror inspires mad tales. 
Then the news died down, and now, all of a sudden, it has 
returned with proofs and names. 

It was at the beginning of April that I heard that a 
sailor in Budapest was recruiting a band of terrorists 
among freed convicts and Russian Jews. Next we heard 
that these people had occupied the palaces of Counts 
Batthyany and Hunyady. On the first of May they hung 
out a huge sign over the palaces : THE LENIN BOYS, and 
ever since then they have been known by that name. 
The Lenin Boys, armed to the teeth, clad in leather coats, 
appear at night in the streets of Budapest or in those 
provincial towns where the miserable population dares 
to show signs of dissatisfaction. The other day they 
carried off the organisers of the Counter-revolution, Colonel 
Dormandy and Victor Horvath, who are said to have been 
tortured atrociously. They were tied up in the cellars 
of the Batthyany palace, burning cigars were stuffed into 
their mouths, water was forced in enormous quantities 
down their throats, and nails were driven under then* 
finger-nails. Whether they still live no one knows ; there 
are others too. Last week we heard that a counter- 
revolution had been attempted at Mako and that the 
former President of the House of Commons, Louis Navay, 
had been killed. We could not believe it : all his life he 
had been an advanced Liberal who had fought for universal 
suffrage, and he was a gentle scholar and philanthropist ; 
moreover after the Revolution began he retired from all 
public affairs. 

But the news persisted : the terrorists had gone down 
to Mako to take hostages and amongst others they had 
arrested Louis Navay, his nephew Ivan and the mayor of 
the town, and had taken them by rail to Budapest. When 
the train stopped at the station the terrorists shouted into 
the compartment where the prisoners were : " Let the 
Counts and Barons step forward ! " Nobody moved, then 
a man who as an orphan had been brought up by the 
kindness of the Ndvays shouted : " This one's a Right 

1. EUGENE VARGA alias 





(For an account of these Terrorists, see the APPENDIX.) 


Honourable and that one's an Honourable, take these." 
The Lenin Boys dragged them from the train and forced 
them to dig their graves at the bottom of the embankment. 
There was no time for a tribunal, so they fired at them 
without any preliminaries, stabbed them repeatedly with 
their bayonets, and crammed them into the half-dug graves. 
One of them was not quite dead when they were buried, 
and his poor protruding hand waved feebly for a time. 
The picture of it haunted me for many nights. It was 
impossible ! Incredible ! But the news was repeated and 
proved to be true. Other news followed. 

A young ensign named Nicholas Dobsa, eighteen years 
old, suddenly disappeared in Budapest. He was asked 
by the Terror Boys for his identity papers, and he laughed. 
He said nothing, just laughed. Poor boy, he disappeared 
behind the door of the Batthyany palace never to reappear. 
Others disappeared too, and more pools of blood were 
found in secluded places. Many other violent deaths were 
reported, though rumour could not give the names. 

Meanwhile Szamuelly's special train is on the move all 
the time, and wherever it stops there are executions. It 
started at Szoboszlo, a long distance from here, and the 
news came to us by an eye-witness, Antony Szatmary, a 
railway man. It happened on the 23rd of April, when the 
Red front was at Debreczen. During the morning a hussar 
suddenly stepped out of the ranks and shouted : " Let us 
run, the Rumanians are coming ! " So the International 
Battalion started off at once. The remnants of the army 
fled on the last train to Szoboszlo, and my informant, 
Szatmary, was pressed in to act as stoker. An armoured 
train, advancing cautiously, met them, and a black-haired, 
red-nosed young man leant out of the window : " What 
news, comrade ? " " We are the last to leave," the stoker 

The young man was Szamuelly, and when he stopped at 
Szoboszlo he was mad with rage. He ordered the station 
master to be flogged, as well as some workmen, and when his 
train reached the signal-box and saw that a white flag had 
been hoisted on the church spire he ordered the train back 
and ran into the town with his terrorists, accompanied by 
a fair-haired, blue-eyed woman on horseback. He arrested 
three men at random, Korner a mill- owner, Joseph Tokay 
a police officer, and Ladislaus Fekete the mayor, and had 
them hanged on trees in front of a chemist's shop. " Be 
quick ! " he said, and cleaned his nails while the execution 
was being carried out. Then he boarded his train again 


and went on. In Kaba he had the curate, the notary and 
the magistrate hurriedly tortured, and moved on again, 
because the Rumanians were coming. Thence he went 
to Szolnok, where he took hostages and had them hanged. 
One hundred and fifty were executed. They were all 
Hungarians and Christians. . . . 

Steps approached the house and Mrs. Huszar exclaimed 
in alarm : " The parson ! " 

The Reformed minister, Sebastian Kovaks, looked 
frightfully thin in his black coat. His face was ashen and 
fresh furrows played round his mouth. He spoke pantingly, 
as if he had been running hard, and turned to me. 

" God protected you that you did not come with me. 
When I reached the Ipoly both Reds and Czechs came 
rushing towards me. I had no choice, so ran into the 
river and threw myself into the water, which was simply 
swept around me by bullets. The Reds fired volleys after 

That was the history of the journey I should have had to 

" You would undoubtedly have been shot or arrested," 
the minister went on. " The Czechs wanted to intern me, 
and the Reds were hunting for me. For three days I hid 
among the crops before I dared to come home. I hear 
that a Czech shell struck the church ; we had arms hidden 
under the roof." 

Bullets were again whistling in the street. The minister 
shuddered and looked anxiously round, then he smiled, 
embarrassed : " Since then my nerves won't stand it. I 
had rather too much of it." He sat down almost in a 
state of collapse, and although he was a young man he 
looked very old. 

May 30th-31st. 

THE banks of the river were unusually silent this evening. 
Just as it was getting dark the soldiers rolled a hogshead 
into the museum garden the museum serves as a barracks. 
We heard one of them saying under our window that there 
was going to be a distribution of rum. What does that 

The patrol passed. Then the strains of a Gypsy band 
filtered through the night. Silence followed. It must have 
been about two in the morning when a voice mingled with 


my dreams. I woke, but could not at once grasp its 

"Attack . . ." 
" Who ? " 

" The Reds ! . . ." 

That was not what we had hoped for ! For an instant 
my heart stopped beating. Doors were carefully opened 
and closed. The little girl came into the room and sleepily 
dragged her pillow behind her, like a white ant carrying a 
load too heavy for it. She lay down on the couch and fell 

Wild firing was going on, so we opened the window. 
Suddenly the rifle shots seemed to come much nearer. 
The dawn was full of explosions and the deadly arpeggios 
of the machine-guns ran into one another, their staccato 
notes running in endless sequence up and down the banks 
of the Ipoly. Someone was playing the dance of death in 
the grey light. Shells passed so rapidly over the roof that 
it was impossible to tell which side fired them, and stray 
bullets thudded against the walls of the houses. Not a 
soul was visible. The house shook and every sound echoed 
through it as it does when one is under the arch of a 

This went on for several hours : the vague grey objects 
regained their outlines, and things assumed their natural 
colours. The golden sun shone on green trees and on the 
brown tiles of the roofs. The artillery went on firing, but 
the rattle of the machine-guns seemed to get further and 
further away. The fight was now beyond the Ipoly, some- 
where among the vineyards. It was not the other bank 
that had come to break down our prison, it was our prison 
that had spread to the other side. 

A young boy doubled up on a bicycle passed under our 
window. " The Reds have crossed the river ! "he shouted. 
" The Czechs are running along the whole line." People 
began to appear from the houses and a peasant girl stepped 
aimlessly into the middle of the street. The vineyards 
became silent ; the Red guns alone went on firing and 
there was no answer from the other side. But it was not 
the silence of the living ; it was the silence of death . Under 
the tension the dam which kept the Red waves in bound 
has broken, and the wave has spread and flowed over little 
hamlets, villages, and castles, hitherto untouched. God help 
the people on the other bank, for they are all Hungarian*} 
and their share is suffering and death. " The victory remains 
with Trotsky's agents. The long road of homelessness has 


become longer in front of me, stretching into the unknown, 
even beyond the frontiers. 

Presently the guns on our bank stopped firing too and 
on the main road little figures, bent under heavy loads, 
could be seen approaching. When they got nearer I saw 
that they were soldiers the victorious Reds returning 
from the villages on the other bank among the vineyards, 
laden heavily with loot. They had captured the entire 
camp of the fleeing Czechs and brought bundles of rice, 
matches, tobacco, sacks of dried prunes, barrels of rum, 
wine and honey. A Jewish front delegate had even 
obtained a carriage, which he had loaded high with plunder, 
and the soldiers roared with laughter as he drove down 
the street. Let Bela Kun run after the Czechs himself 
if he wants to ! They were very merry and some of them 
very unsteady on their feet. 

About noon, however, their merriment was unexpectedly 
interrupted. Firing broke out suddenly and machine-guns 
rattled in the vineyards. A soldier without his cap and 
his face white with fright rushed towards the Museum 
garden. " The Czechs have come back ! " he shouted, and 
his voice rang down the street. " They're in the vineyards 
again and have captured our people ! " 

The Czechs had, in fact, returned to the vineyards and 
caught sixty Reds pilfering there. The buglers sounded 
the alarm in vain : the Red army was busy cooking rice 
and drinking rum. Some Proletarian women, who had had 
no share in the booty, stood there, arms akimbo, and 
scolded the soldiers : " Of course when there's a distribution 
of meat or of milk you're always in the front row. Then 
you shout that you are Reds and steal the milk from the 
kiddies' mouths. But when it is a question of driving 
away the Czechs you run home with what you have stolen. 
You let them take the hill." 

Most of the soldiers were drunk, in fact they had got 
tipsy before the attack began, for while they were falling 
in Gypsies played to them and rum was distri- 

" Mental degradation by means of alcohol was one of 
the weapons of the bourgeois," shouts the Red press. 
" Alcohol is the Proletariat's greatest foe," is posted by 
the Communists on all the walls. Yet the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat makes the class-conscious Red army drunk 
whenever it wants to drive it to face unnecessary death. 


May 31st. 
WHAT hast thou done, Michael Karolyi ? 

When morning came the Czechs had stealthily, quietly 
evaporated from the hills, fleeing before a miserable handful 
of Beds. They are the same Czechs who five months ago 
descended from the mountains of Zolyom and took undis- 
puted possession of Pressburg and Kassa, impregnable 
Komdrom, a third of our country. How they would have 
run if they had had to face the hussars of Limanova and 
the territorials of Gorlice ! But Karolyi 's minister of war 
did not want to see any soldiers, the same Linder who 
recently, at a review, exclaimed to comrades Bohm, 
Pogany and Landler in front of their armed servants : 
" You see we had to break up the old army to create this." 

Two towns and all the heights above them have been 
taken by the Beds, who have captured machine-guns and 
two heavy guns. The Czechs were surprised in their sleep 
and fled half -naked, all the prisoners being taken in their 
night clothes. Peasants' carts laden with Czech uniforms 
and boots rattled over the bridges all night. I could not 
sleep : I thought of the people on the other bank of the 
Ipoly, whom I do not know and yet for whom I fear. When 
they wake they will find the train of the plunderers which 
brings the awful Bed epidemic of tyranny and terrorist 
tribunals. And when it comes back it will carry away 
hostages. . . . 

The clock struck. Half -past one. ... A long train 
whistle ; buffers knocking together ; coupling-chains 
clanging in the dark. Fetters and skeleton keys. . . . 

May the Lord have mercy on us all ! 

June 1st. 

A DRUM is being beaten in the village and the sound echoes 
from street to street. The Bevolutionary Cabinet has 
decreed general conscription, and a small minority of alien 
race disposes of the nation's blood by simple decree. I 
shuddered. Henceforth they are going to force everybody 
to take up arms for them against himself. 

An aeroplane flew over us. " An Italian machine," said 
someone in front of the house. The airman was recon- 
noitring the Ipoly valley eyes from another world looking 
down on us, indifferently, without sympathy. To him we 
appear only as black spots, swarming ants. Does he know 
that the ants are suffering, that the ant-hill has been kicked 



to pieces and that strange vermin have invaded it ? He 
flew on a dragonfly passing across the prisoner's window. 

The catafalque of the fallen Red soldiers has been erected 
in front of the county hall ; red flowers, a red cross. (Why 
the cross ?) Red shrouds showed under the lids of the red 
coffins. Only the little son of Stefanovic was not among 
them the only child of a counter-revolutionary railway 
man. He was the best pupil of his school, a fervent little 
patriot, but was called up and had to go. He was wounded 
under the vineyards and implored the soldiers in vain to 
take him back to Balassagyarmat. They had no time 
they were carrying rice. So the boy dragged himself to a 
field of oats and when the Czechs came back they found 
him and clubbed him to death with the butts of their rifles 
" the little red vermin." His parents brought the 
corpse back, and the Directorate sent them a red coffin. 
" That is enough," said his father, " he shall never be 
buried with such tomfoolery." 

Among the dead Reds there are many little Stefanovics. 
Passers-by stop reverently at their graves, for they hated 
the Directorship of the Proletariat and loved their country. 

Two soldiers came into the yard, two sad-faced boys, 
and asked for red flowers and red ribbons for their comrades. 
Out there, unmarked graves ; in here, propaganda funerals. 

In front of the county hall Comrade Singer pronounced 
the valedictory discourse : 

" We take leave of you with the promise that we will 
fight with merciless hatred against the bourgeoisie, and, 
should we perish, the very blades of grass will continue 
the fight, animated by our hatred." 

In the cemetery the minister spoke : 

" My brethren in the Lord, standing at these open 
graves, let your last word be that of love. ..." 

In these two speeches Christ and those who had cruci- 
fied him met. 

June 2nd. 

SOMETIMES the candle flares up before it goes out. Sc* 
with the news to-day. In this morning's paper we read : 
" Szeged is in the hands of the counter-revolutionaries. 
The opposition Government has removed from Arad to 
Szeged and is in communication with the Hungarian 
counter-revolutionaries of Vienna. Western Hungary is 
organising and in Szeged Hungarian White Guards are- 




being formed under French protection. ..." 

It is actually in the Red papers ! Have the Entente 
Powers stopped the Rumanians on the banks of the Tisza 
to give us a chance of saving ourselves by our own efforts ? 
That would at least be human justice. A nation, deadly 
humiliated, could thus regain its self-respect. If only this 
were the case ! Then we could bless our two months' 
sufferings. Not Rumanians but Hungarians would retake 
Budapest from the Red tyrant. 

I noticed this morning that the soles of my boots were 
worn through. What a shock ! What shall I do if they 
give way ? We had frozen, black potatoes for supper and 
when we rose from the table Mrs. Huszar told a story about 
some bread and butter. The little girl began to cry : she 
was hungry after her supper and wanted some bread and 

Torn boots, black potatoes, what do they matter ? 
There are Hungarian soldiers in Szeged ! 


June 3rd. 

I'VE got a fever of some kind and it frightens me it would 
be terrible to be ill at such a time and in a strange house. 
I must try to keep going, but oh ! how I long to go to bed. 

A man came in from the village this morning and reported 
that when the Reds made their advance on Friday morning 
the houses of all Jews were at once surrounded by Jewish 
Red soldiers with fixed bayonets to prevent them from 
being looted. This was corroborated by one of the owners 
of the protected houses himself. 

Thus even after the abolition of private property the 
Dictatorship officially protects all Jews' belongings. 
Beyond the Ipoly Red soldiers have plundered Sztregova, 
the ancient castle where Imre Maddch wrote The. Tragedy 
of Man ; but the Jewish Red soldiers protected the bouse 
of Fischer, the land agent of Leszeny. . . . 

June 7th. 

I'VE had to give in : I can hardly distinguish things and 
am unable to move. 

Baron Alexander Jeszensky came to see me, bringing 
messages from Bercel. Charles Kiss is with the KdUays 
and is coming to fetch me in a couple of days. He has 
made all preparations for my escape to Vienna. 

June 8th. 

THE Reds have retaken Kassa from the Czechs. Poor 
City. It received the victors with red, white and green 
flags, thinking they were Hungarians. Orders promptly 
came that the flags were to be removed. 

Two days ago someone knocked at our window late at 
night. Anxiety spread through the house ; men's voices 
were audible from the corridor. Aladdr Huszar had come 
home ! He looked like an apparition, a man of the woods, 
for his dress was torn, his shirt was in shreds, and hie 



beard and hair had grown inordinately long. For six 
weeks he had been hiding with his friend George Pongracz 
in the wild hills of Borzsony. 

They, too, were expecting the fall of the Dictatorship 
and were waiting for the intervention of the Entente. Then 
came the offensive of the Reds. As the battle was progress- 
ing northwards they concluded that the Reds were winning 
and that there was no escape ; and as they could not ask 
for asylum from the Czechs, whom they had formerly 
helped to drive out, what was the good of waiting any 
longer ? 

" So we came home," said Huszar, and despair was in 
his eyes. " We shall give ourselves up to the Directorate 
and stand our trial." 

The Directorate had ordered proceedings to be taken 
against them, but miraculously had failed to arrest them. 

The doctor came to see me this morning I've got 
rheumatic fever, and in the afternoon the children brought 
me some forget-me-nots from the river. Dusk came, then 
darkness. When I woke up a candle was burning in the 
room and Charles Kiss was sitting at my bedside. He 
brought me news of my mother, after all this time ; she 
is alive and well, but fretting about me as she has not 
heard from me for weeks. She was questioned many 
times by the Red agents and they forced her to swear that 
as soon as she knew where I was she would report to them. 
Once a detective said to her : " How must you have 
brought up your daughter for her to behave like this ? " 
" I brought her up as a Hungarian," my mother replied 
simply. Whereupon the detective hung his head and then 
said, as if ashamed : "I, too, am Hungarian," and he 
kissed my mother's hand. Since then there have been no 
more inquiry agents to see her. 

Then Charles Kiss talked about himself. Most of the 
time he has been hiding in Western Hungary, where the 
whole region is in a ferment, counter-revolutions breaking 
out here and there. But as soon as ever there is news of 
one Szamuelly makes a sudden appearance. In Devecser 
he had the counter-revolutionaries hanged round the 
church ; with the exception of a young teacher they were 
all peasants. He forced the women to look on. In 
Nagygenes he had a farmer hanged in front of his children. 
The farmer did not die at once and when he was in his 


coffin he sat up. The wife and children ran to him sobbing. 
But the Terror Boys know no pity : they finished him off 
in his coffin. 

Charles Kiss is going to escape to Vienna. To do this 
he has to go through Budapest a long way round. I 
watched his face anxiously, afraid he might say that I 
should have to take the same road, but to my relief he 
said nothing. I raised my arm to shake hands with him 
when he went, and had to clench my teeth to restrain a 
cry of pain. Then I lay for hours motionless, and all 
through the night made preparations. In the morning 
I was as tired as if I had wandered along endless roads. 

June llth. 

THE newspapers are howling victory the delivery of 
Kassa. The Internationale is played and the Bed Guard 
of Honour (?) cheers as Garbai and Bela Kun pass before it. 

Far away I seem to hear wild Kuruc songs . . . and see 
the Kuruc horsemen waving their caps to their prince*. . . 
Our lovely town, longing for deliverance from Czech 
captivity. What a different home-coming you must have 
expected ! 

And this is how (according to the reporters) Bela Kun 
held forth : 

" Dear comrades 1 Now, comrades, the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat is a fine thing, is it not ? You have scarcely 
tasted it, but you will soon see what a beautiful, good and 
reasonable thing the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is, 
from the workers' point of view. The Proletarian who 
labours, who was oppressed, cannot understand how any- 
one can want anything else but the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat. It is so simple. We do not mind what 
language a labouring brother Proletarian speaks, we have 
but one enemy the bourgeoisie, whatever language it 
may speak. . . ." 

Above the words of Bela Kun and the other ' comrades ' 
I seem to hear a thundering voice rising from the depths 
of the Cathedral crypt : 

" Why did you bring me home ? I listened in peace to 
the murmur of the sea ..." 

* Francis Rakoczi, the leader of the Kuruc rising against the 
Hapsburgs, in the early years of the 18th Century, a national hero, is 
buried hi the Cathedral of Kassa. His body was transferred from 
Turkey to Kassa in 1907. [Transl.] 


June 12th. 

IT has been rumoured for days and now it turns out to be 
true : Clemenceau is negotiating with Bela Kun in the 
name of the Peace Conference. His Note came by wireless 
from Paris to Budapest " to the Hungarian Government." 

This Note, which declares to the Hungarian Government 
that it has just been decided to summon its delegates, calls 
upon it to stop its attack against Czechoslovakia, other- 
wise the Governments of the Allied and Associated Powers 
will take the firmest measures to force Hungary to do so. 
The Note reminds Bela Kun of the gratitude which he owes 
to the Allied Powers because : " on two occasions they have 
stopped the advance of the Euinanian armies which had 
crossed the frontiers fixed by the armistice, and had prevented 
them from advancing on Budapest, and had stopped the 
Serbian and French armies on the southern front of 

Clemenceau, the President of the Peace Conference, is 
ready to sit down at a table with Bela Kun. His blind 
hatred is ready for anything so long as it leads to the 
poisoning of the open wound in the side of poor Hungary, 
fallen in a gallant fight. And we, poor fools, expected 
human charity from the victors, who by this very document 
certify that for months they have been responsible for the 
prolongation of Bolshevik misrule in Hungary ! 

Bela Kun, the Communist of 1919, thus answered 
M. Clemenceau, the Communist of 1871 : 

" Monsieur Clemenceau, President of the Peace Confer- 
ence. Paris. 

" The Hungarian Soviet Government has observed with 
pleasure the intention of the Allied and Associated Powers 
to convoke Hungary to the Paris Peace Conference. The 
Hungarian Soviet Republic has no hostile intention towards 
any people in the world, it desires to live in friendship and 
peace with all of them, all the more as it does not insist 
on territorial integrity." Then he goes on sarcastically : 
" We are delighted to hear that the Allied Powers have 
ordered the Czecho-Slovak republic, the kingdoms of 
Rumania and Yugo Slavia to stop their attacks, but we 
are forced to emphasise the fact that the States in question 
have paid no heed to the orders of the Allies." Finally 
he offers the help of the Red army " to enforce the orders 
of the Allies." 


June 13th. 

WE only heard of it to-day, although it happened at the 
beginning of the month : the Directorates of Szombathely 
and Celldtimolk had attempted to use the military to enforce 
the enlistment of railwaymen of military age in the Red 
army. They, however, decided to stop work and overthrow 
the Dictatorship of the Proletariat by a strike. All honest 
railwaymen joined the rising one after the other, and on 
the 2nd of June all trains between the Austrian frontier 
and the Danube stopped. The train of Szamuelly with 
its Lenin Boys alone was running. As Budapest had 
refused to join in, the railwaymen did not succeed in 
stopping the traffic throughout the country, and after a 
struggle of six days they returned to work. The trains 
started from gallows-trees and with them the halting 
circulation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was 
restored. Another hope gone. Then followed the ful- 
filment of Bela Kun's promise : " I shall hang a few 
railwaymen in every station and then order will be restored. 
I have done the trick before in Russia." 

But meanwhile the smouldering fuse had again blazed 
up and counter-revolution broke out in Sopron. Other 
towns followed, but it did not last long, for in a few hours 
the Reds came in from all sides. In Csorna the Terrorists 
of Gy5r collected the counter-revolutionaries and crammed 
one hundred and fifty into a small cell, then closed the iron 
shutters to suffocate them. 

Then Szamuelly arrived in the town. In front of him 
armed guards ran shouting : " Into the houses ! " and 
those who did not manage to get out of the way in time 
were shot. When Szamuelly with his Lenin Boys actually 
entered the town the streets had been cleared, so the black 
hyena in his armoured car raced amidst a deathly silence 
to sit in judgment. 

A table was placed in the open, and the prisoners were 
led before Szamuelly one after another. He examined 
nobody and only asked who was possessed of property. 
Then he ordered some to the left and some to the right. 
No witnesses were called : Szamuelly alone represented 
the tribunal. " To death ! " he shouted to those on the 
left, and eighty started for the square in front of the church. 

One of the men sentenced, a journeyman bootmaker, 
collapsed on the way and was left there. The others were 
beaten with rifle butts and spat upon by their hangmen. 
The eye-glasses of Lieut. Takacs were thrust into his eyes 
until the eyeball was forced out of its socket, and while 


he walked on they even tore his handkerchief away so that 
his eyeball hung on his cheek. They boxed the ears of 
Gyula Aides, a mill-owner, while he stood under the gallows, 
and then Stephen Tarcsay, Louis Laffer, Gyula Nemeth 
and Francis Glaser were hanged. No doctor was present 
at the execution. Before the corpses were cold the Lenin 
Boys stripped them and made the other prisoners bury 
them. Szamuelly watched the execution and made jokes. 

Next day he went to Kapuvar and entered the place 
with a band of a hundred and fifty Terrorists armed with 
machine-guns and hand grenades. All he asked the 
prisoners was their name. " Hang them ! " he cried. The 
mayor, the police sergeant and three others were led in 
front of the Catholic Church. He reprieved one of them 
on the way, because he was told he was the president of 
the Jewish congregation. In this place, too, the prisoners 
were beaten on their way to execution. The rope broke 
when police sergeant Pinter was hanged. His two little 
children ran up and implored mercy, but Szamuelly would 
not relent. He then imposed a fine of millions on the 
town, and all the cattle he could lay hands on were driven 
away. Then he went on, without remorse, calmly, in his 
princely special train. 

This death train passes through Hungary day and 
night, and wherever it stops men are hanged on the trees 
and blood is spilt on the pavements. Along its track 
people often find naked and mutilated corpses. In the 
Pullman car Szamuelly sits in judgment. I heard this 
from a reliable man, who had gone over with the Socialist 
party to the Communists to save his own skin. He had 
to report to Szamuelly in Szolnok, and it was then that he 
saw the train. 

Szamuelly lives permanently in this train, and even in 
Budapest he sleeps in it, being surrounded by thirty 
selected Terrorist guards. His special executioner travels 
with him. The train consists of two parlour cars, two first- 
class carriages in which the Terrorists travel, and two 
third-class carriages for the victims. The executions take 
place in these, and the floors of the cars are covered with 
blood-stains. The corpses are thrown out of the windows, 
while Szdmuelly sits in his Pullman car surrounded by 
tapestry walls, bevelled mirrors, and fragile gilt Louis XVI. 
furniture covered with pink brocade, and seated before 
his delicate, feminine writing table, he disposes of people's 

Through every action of practical Marxism, through all 


its ordinances and institutions, even through the communi- 
cation of its news, there grins cruelty the repulsive, 
morbid cruelty of sensuality. 

The brave kill, the cowards torture. The Hungarian 
people can be wild, ruthless, coarse and even vindictive, 
but through all its history it has never been cruel. It is 
not a sensual race. It expresses sensuality neither in its 
ancestral religion, nor in the conception of its gods of 
pagan times, nor in its legends, stories, folk-songs, humour 
or art. The cruelty of the Bolsheviks, on the other hand, 
is imbued with the sensuality of pathological aberration. 
Its origin is neither Slav nor Turanian, but of another race 
living in our midst. The history of the Hebrews, the 
Covenant, the Talmud and the Jewish literature of the 
various languages of the world, everything that originates 
with Jews, is overflowingly sensual. Cruelty finds its 
fantasy and energy in sensuality. The bloody invasitm 
of the Turks, the merciless oppression of the Austrians, 
were incomparably milder than the cruelty of the 

Szamuelly's train races on without a stop, past trembling 
little guards' houses, through torpid, insignificant stations, 
through plains and over hills. It rushes through the 
country from end to end, to forge, with the cruelty of the 
conquering race, permanent shackles round our ruined 
country. No other sound is heard throughout the land ; 
just the shriek of a train. 

June 14th. 

THE town was smothered in a stifling white heat. Under 
the window the little street basked lifelessly in the sun. 
As far as I could see from my pillow nothing was happening. 
Our fate was as stifling and as motionless as the street. 

The first national congress of Soviets is meeting to-day 
in Budapest. On the previous two days the Communist 
party held meetings in the Hungarian House of Parliament. 
I began to read the report : " There was a red shine in 
the eyes ..." Then I stopped : a grimy old wall in 
Budapest came to my mind, a glaring red poster sticking 
to it. ... And under a blue sky a giant labourer was 
furiously painting the House of Parliament red with a 
brush that dripped . . . 

I continued to read the account of the Communists' 
general meeting. The reporter, with the traditional rapture 


for everything that is new, gushed over the aspect of the 
altered assembly room in the House of Parliament. The 
old frescoes have disappeared, and instead of the sacred 
crown above the chairman's seat, " a fierce-looking labourer 
with a Phrygian cap is contemplating the place, with the 
Soviet's five-pointed star above his heart. On the wall 
there are no longer pictures of ' historical celebrities,' nor 
of ' glorious battles,' new strokes of the brush have 
transformed them into symbolical, grandiose decorations." 

How they hurry to cover and efface everything that was 
ours ! Yet even while they are painting their ordinances 
with our blood, every successive beat of the country's 
heart is louder and louder, more and more threatening. 
41 What have you done with our country ? With our 
language, our honour, the purity of our children, the 
memory of our greatness ? The throbbing of the 
Hungarian blood bodes ill, but they hear it not, though 
the anger of a deeply insulted nation is boiling up around 
them. They will not hear, they plunder and murder as 
before and hold meetings in the stolen house of our stolen 
country. Their newspaper chroniclers record with satisfied 
racial self-consciousness the arrival of the delegates : 
" They entered without the slightest embarrassment, 
without emotion, without fuss." 

The strength and misfortune of the Jewish race are that 
it is surprised by nothing and does not believe in the aims 
which it professes. 

I thought of the great hall where once the noble figure 
of Stephen Tisza dominated so many storms, and I thought 
also of those who could never have invaded the place had 
they not passed over his dead body. They do not know 
it, but they are going to their ordeal, for even as they 
speak the blood begins to ooze out of the country's open 

" As they passed before the red draperies their faces 
showed up against the red background." Many of the 
People's Commissaries have escaped from gaols and lunatic 
asylums : is the background of these faces a fitting place 
for the Hungarian labourer, painted above the presidential 
stand with a Phrygian cap and a Soviet star ? If this 
labourer could articulate, his cry would sound the knell of 
this ' assembly.' I have spoken with many real Hungarian 
labourers during the last few weeks, on shaky, springless 

* It is a common belief in Hungary (and in many other countries) 
that if a murderer approaches the corpse of his victim the blood will 
flow from the fatal wound. [Transl.] 


carts, near railway embankments, in the fields, near the 
hills, on the main roads, and how many of them have 
cursed those who deliberate this day over our ruins. But 
they were not there in the great hall among the speakers. 
It was Bela Kohn, Richard Schwarz, and William Bohm 
who spoke. The committee is composed of : Moritz 
Heller, Rabinovits, Vera Singer, William Lefkovits, Elias 
Brandstein, and Arpad Schwarz. 

What did they discuss during the two days ? Did they 
raise the question whether it was fitting to shed blood in 
order to accomplish their universal brotherhood or whether 
they should attain their aim by starvation ? Did they 
mention that round the green table in Paris foreign hands 
are squeezing our thousand-years-old frontier, while others 
are standing by eager to tear off such parts as have not yet 
been distributed ? 

Not they ! The Dictators discussed a proposed change 
of name of their party and debated the expediency of 
tightening or relaxing the pressure of the Dictatorship. 
In this the hand of Lenin appears, for a few days ago the 
Russian tyrants sent a message to their Budapest branch 
that henceforth it must call itself ' the United Communist 
party of Hungary.' Many members obeyed, but the more 
cunning ones advocated the advantages of the ' Socialist ' 
sign. They look ahead and hope that should Communism 
collapse somehow in Hungary it might be possible to save 
the Jewish domination by returning to the old conditions. 
That is the only thing that matters to them ; everything 
else is of secondary importance the school books, the 
gallows, the prisons, the keys of the safe-deposits, the 
fresh soldiers' graves, the new casualties, the recent 
mutilations. Henceforth it will be unnecessary to 
characterise the Dictatorship and its tyrants ; their 
deliberations have disclosed their nature. 

" The power of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is now 
in the hands of an active minority," said Be" la Kun. In 
giving the list of the delegates' names * The Red Newspaper ' 
and ' The People's Voice ' show what this active minority 
is. Practically every member of it belongs to the foreign 
race. In his programme, Bela Kun clamours for the 
application of merciless violence. " The quotation of 
pacificism has suffered a slump, and the quotation, not of 
the imperialistic war but of the revolutionary class war, 
is soaring. . . . The army is nothing but the armed 
Proletariat. It is a class army . . . this does not mean 
that we intend to limit our recruiting to the industrial 


Proletariat of the towns. It would be rank folly to expose 
to the risk of death none but the elite of the Proletariat. 
The self-conscious Proletarians must be distributed among 
the Proletarians who possess self-consciousness in a lesser 
degree. We must be sparing with the class-conscious 

This is meant for the educated classes, the manufacturers 
and agriculturists. Never have words contained more 
calculated iniquity. The Israelites have redeemed their 
blood with that of the Canaanites. Let him bear the 
cross who is about to be crucified on it. 

Bela Kun continued to outline his programme. He had 
but a few words for the land question : " That my 
programme does not say much about it is quite natural. 
It is a question concerning which we are still groping in 
the dark. I admit that." 

They will talk about it later, when the peasant has paid 
the blood tax. Till that is done, let him live in the illusion 
that his land is his own and is not appropriated by the 
Co-operatives of Production belonging to the Government. 

" The Dictatorship must apply stricter measures ! " 
Pogany exclaimed. He spoke of the Counter-revolution 
in West Hungary. " There is only one road open for us : 
Forward, to the left ! " 

Comrade Horvath, of whom it is common knowledge 
that he has stolen his clothes from Count Joseph Karolyi's 
castle, declared that the prestige of the Dictatorship ought 
to be improved and expressed himself disparagingly of the 
Soviet delegates : "I declare and am ready to prove that 
in Szekesfehervar one evening there were sixty political 
delegates in the coffee-house whose Polish-Jewish origin 
was unmistakably written on their faces." 

Vago-Weiss, a People's Delegate, interrupted : " How 
dare you talk like that ? " and Szdmuelly banged his desk 
with his fist. How hurt they are if we touch anything 
belonging to them ; but if we express pain when they 
destroy our God and our country they hang us. 

All references to gallows, all threatening and blood- 
thirsty speeches were suppressed by the newspapers, out 
of consideration for foreign countries. The meeting was 
concluded by a speech by Bela Kun in which Hungary's 
Dictator furnished some further characteristic details 
about himself and his order. 

" First of all I want to deal with Comrade Schwarz's 
interruption," the Commissary for Foreign Affairs said, and 
then proceeded to answer the comrade who had proposed : 


" if our party's old programme contained the abolition of 
capital punishment, its present programme ought to con- 
tain it too." In his answer Bela Kun made some humorous 
remarks concerning capital punishment and said that the 
old Socialist programme had claimed the right for everyone 
to install and operate small stills (loud laughter). Richard 
Schwarz interrupted : "I was not joking ! " Bela Kun 
continued : "I know full well that Comrade Schwarz was 
not joking, for he is not a humorous man (laughter), and 
yet there was some unconscious humour in his proposal 
(hear, hear). When a programme like ours is under 
consideration ... a programme which forms the founda- 
tion of the Dictatorship ... it is unseemly to discuss 
such trifles. This settles, as far as I am concerned, the 
proposal made by Comrade Schwarz, and I propose its 
rejection. (Signs of approval.) " 

Finally, to complete his self-characterisation, he expressed 
his ideas on intellectual production : 

"It is in the nature of things that the Dictatorship is 
not over-favourable for the development of personal 
liberties, it is not propitious to the assertion of individuality ; 
but if our intellectual life has declined, bear in mind that 
it is not our intellectual life but the remnant of the 
bourgeoisie's organisation of physical tyranny which it 
was pleased to call literature." 

(Shades of Goethe, Arany, Shelley, Andersen, Flaubert, 
Dostoyevski, masters of your art, know you all that you 
are naught but that part of the bourgeois organisation 
of physical tyranny which is called literature.') 

The window near my bed is open. The birds twitter 
and I can hear the concert of frogs by the Ipoly. A dog 
barks. Birds, frogs and dogs all speak their own language : 
why do not the Budapest Communists debate in Hebrew ? 

June. 16th. 

THE Soviet assembled yesterday in Budapest and meetings 
were held from morning till night. The national delegates 
of our county's Soviet attended. The Red newspapers 
this morning are bursting with pride, with ecstasy over the 
opening festivities. 

" The labouring people of Hungary have gone to 
Budapest to lay the foundations of a new Constitution 
which will create a new atmosphere and bring happiness 
in its wake." 


As a matter of fact the labourers of Balassagyarmat are 
indifferent and miserable. Nobody bothers about the 
Soviets. They have no part in it. The whole thing is 
strange and distant to them. 

" The will of the millions," say the newspapers. And 
there it meets, this curious assembly, elected by orders 
of the People's Commissaries, by the privileged fraction 
of the population, with lists prepared in advance, under 
the supervision of soldiers with fixed bayonets. 

A theatre was the scene of the opening ceremony. The 
First National Assembly of Hungarian Soviets met in a 
suburban theatre in the neighbourhood of the old clothes' 
market. " Red walls and wreaths, arranged by inspiring, 
artistic hands," the Red chronicler reports. " Silence 
dominates the audience of thousands, the crowded boxes, 
when the curtain is raised." On the stage there is a red 
tribune ornamented with artificial red flowers and a long 
table where the People's Commissaries assemble. " A 
historical, grandiose gathering," says the reporter of ' The 
People's Voice.' " The stage is inundated with a flood 
of light. The strains of the Internationale rise. Everyone 
feels that this is the beginning of the second thousand of 
Hungary's historical years." (A pity it's begun on the 
stage, though.) " You are burying to-day this country's 
thousand-years-old Constitution," said Alexander Garbai, 
the President of the Council, in his opening speech. But 
a People's Constitution grows from its soil, like the crops, 
and no executioners can kill the soil. To-day the soil is 
suffering in silence : it is the apotheosis of Bela Kun. " The 
Congress rose for him and applauded him madly for several 
minutes." His will is done. He imposes the ' Constitution ' 
he likes, and the Soviet joins the Third International. Its 
leader then produced a message from Red Russia's leader : 
" Every Proletarian will fight like a tiger ; we shall win or 
die ! " The factory workers swore fidelity : " We will 
be the pillars of the Soviet Republic." 

Steps came along the quiet street and somebody said 
" good day " : it was Mrs. Huszar speaking through the 
window. The local schoolmaster was outside and wanted 
to borrow a copy of Marx's works. He has to give a lecture 
on the Communist Declaration. He doesn't want to, but 
what is he to do ? He will get two hundred crowns for it, 
and if he disobeys he will be dismissed ; besides, he has 
so many children. . . . 

I remembered a tale of the country where the hunchbacks 
lived. Once upon a time there was a country which was 


inhabited exclusively by hunchbacks. If by any chance 
anyone with a straight back happened to enter the country 
he was at once put to death. Everything went on all right 
till one day it pleased God to give an exceptional year for 
wine. Hills and vales resounded with the music of the 
grape harvest, and it so happened that many people got 
drunk on the new wine. In the land of hunchbacks the 
ground was shaking with dancing and the air was filled 
with songs. Then it happened that a drunken young 
fellow snatched the hump from his back and waved it with 
joyful shouts above his head. Others imitated him all 
had regained their courage. So they shook their false 
humps from their backs and finally it turned out that 
there was only one genuine hunchback in the whole of the 
hunchbacks' country. 

The steps receded from the window : the teacher went 
off with Marx's writings under his arm. 

Wait till the grape harvest, land of Hunchbacks ! 

June 19th. 

THIS is Corpus Christi but I know it only by the distant 
sound of the bells. Now the procession is passing with 
doffed hats, gravely, silently, under the church banners. 
The villagers have come to town, there is a sea of people 
and the organ sounds in the distance. In a cloud of incense 
the Host is floating down the church, out under the open 
sky, and it glitters in the sun. As it passes the people 
kneel. Christ walks among His people. He walks every- 
where in the country and they dare not interfere with him. 
Only when the procession had returned to church did little 
Jew boys rush up and throw thousands of handbills among 
the people. One of them flew to me through the window. 
" Proletarians of the world, unite ! Read this and pass 
it on ! The Revolution cannot indulge in sentimentality 
and must not know pity. Gallows or bullets ! It will be 
wise for the bourgeois and hooligans not to try to attack 
the Revolution, because at the first attempt iron fists will 
stifle their souls in them with unrelenting deadliness. The 
Revolution is prepared for everything, all means will be 
employed by her to preserve her glorious purity as 
an eternal purity. Woe to those who attack her 
treacherously 1 " 


June 20th. 

IN Budapest, too, the victors made preparations for Corpus 
Christi day. 

It happened in Buda, in front of St. Matthias' church dur- 
ing the procession. I have it from an eyewitness. Round 
the banners thousands of children were thronging, among 
crowds of their elders. A motor-car came racing down 
Tarnok Street, a Commissary's car, the son of a political 
delegate sitting in it. His sweetheart, a waitress, stood in 
front of a shop and waved her hand to him. The young 
Jew wanted to show off his power, so he shouted to the 
chauffeur : " Run them down ! " The car made straight 
for the procession, which fled in panic. When the car 
reached the Host the Jew boy spat on It. The crowd 
raised a shout and would have lynched the blasphemous 
wretch if Red soldiers had not rescued him, dragging him 
under a doorway. The crowd attacked the door, but 
before the Terror Boys could arrive the soldiers themselves 
had settled the aggressors with their bayonets. 

And at the same time a similar incident took place at 
the bottom of the castle hill near St. Christina's church. 
A Jew drove through the multitude and before he could be 
prevented spat on the Host. In this case the crowd fell 
on him and beat him to death. Later on shots were fired 
into the church. News of this kind comes from all quarters. 



June 21st. 

I LIKE to listen to the children when they talk about the 
banks of the Ipoly. The dragonflies have made their 
appearance over the slow, warm water. The golden maple 
has withered in the garden. The crops are hot between the 
furrows. I like to hear that summer has come. The 
terrible time is passing. 

In the name of the Entente, Clemenceau has sent a new 
ultimatum to the Soviet. 

" The Hungarian army fighting on Czecho-Slovak 
territory must be withdrawn at once behind the frontiers 
fixed for Hungary. . . . The Rumanian troops will be 
withdrawn at once as soon as Hungarian troops withdraw 

from Czecho-Slovakia If within four days after the 

14th of June the Government does not comply with this 
demand, the Allies will take punitive measures." 

On the other hand the powers of the Entente declare " in 
the name of peace and justice " that the frontiers to be 
fixed in a subsequent message will " permanently separate 
Hungary from Czecho-Slovakia and Rumania and that 
these Powers will be obliged to withdraw behind the fixed 
natural frontiers." 

An hour must have passed since we began and we are 
still reading the names of towns and villages cut off by 
Clemenceau's line in the name of " peace and justice." 

The name of every lost town, every little village is a 
stab. They want to take the sky above our heads, the 
ground under our feet. They want to take our ancient 
Hungarian towns, which we have not conquered by arms 
but which we have built with the sweat of our brow. They 
want to take the region of Sopron, where the giant of 
Hungarian music, Francis Liszt, was born ; Czenk, where 
the builder of modern Hungarian culture, Count Stephen 
Sz6chenyi, sleeps his eternal sleep ; Pressburg, the ancient 
coronation town, whence the cry of Hungarian fidelity 
" Moriamur pro rege nostro ! " rang out over land and sea. 
They take Kassa with the grave of the champion of 
Hungary's freedom, Francis Rakoczy ; Munkacs, the 
birthplace of our great painter, Munkdcsy ; Gyulafehervar, 



the resting-place of Europe's saviour, John Hunyady, the 
scourge of the Turks ; Kolozsvdr, where stands the birth- 
place of the great prince of the Renaissance, Mathias 
Gorvinus ; the field of Segesvar, the cemetery of our 
national poet, Petofi. They want to take Arad where 
thirteen martyrs of our independence, including Count 
Leiningen, died within an hour for their country. They 
want to take Szalonta, John Arany's purely Hungarian 
birthplace, the district where the oldest and purest 
Hungarian is spoken. They want to tear from us our 
brethren the Vends, Ruthenians and millions and millions 
of Hungarians. They want to take two rivers, the Drava 
and the Sava, and three mountain ranges, the Tatra, the 
Matra and the Fatra, which adorn and form the armorial 
bearings of Hungary. And all this never belonged to those 
to whom it is given. 

They want to rob us of our cradles and graves, " in the 
name of peace and justice. ..." My God ! " Natural 
frontiers ..." Are they making fun of our sufferings ? 
Dare they call the wound cut into the country's body 
" Natural frontiers ? " 

Somebody in the room laughed gruesomely. 

" Here, we overlooked this : the frontier is only fixed 
till the conclusion of a definitive peace treaty. ..." 

I clung to the words, supported myself with them as 1 
with crutches. 

" Of course these frontiers are meant for the Bolsheviks 
only. They are threats to induce them to surrender. ..." 

Aladar Huszar shook his head sadly : 

" You will see, all this will remain. ..." 

June 22nd-23rd. 

THE days when something happens to us are not always 
the worst. The long dragging hours of eventless days are 
just as terrible. To stand roped to the mast of a wreck, 
to wait passively, to gaze at the hopeless horizon and to 
fancy that every white wave is a sail. To see the lights of 
phantom vessels, to hear imaginary voices. There is 
nothing to see, nothing to hear : all this is as much torture 
as the catastrophe itself. 

June 24th. 
THE blossoms of the acacias have faded, but this year I 


have not seen their beauty. Now they have fallen to the 
ground and something else is in the air a rich scent which 
floats through my window. If it had a colour it would be 
white, if it were visible it would smile the limes are 
blooming. Somewhere, everywhere. 

Books are less heavy to my weary hands, and I can now 
sit up in bed. The shrill whistle of the trains no longer 
pierces my brain, and there are many trains running, more 
and more every day. The troop trains are coming back : 
something is happening. 

The Soviet meeting was suddenly broken up and 
Budapest is under martial law. The Soviet members of 
Balassagyarmat have already come home, and judging by 
their reports the triumphant Soviet must have been a 
strange gathering. During the proceedings the comrades 
unfolded their greasy parcels and began to eat, filling the 
place with the smell of garlic and the litter of food. Not- 
withstanding prohibition there was a good deal of drinking 
in the dining-room, and while the comrades in the House of 
Parliament were gushing about Proletarian happiness, 
outside, at the entrance to the former House of Lords, the 
leather- jacketed Lenin Boys were brutalising pale and 
starving people. 

Bela Kun presided autocratically over the assembly. 
Whenever anything began to go contrary to his desires a 
motion of his hand closed the debate. On the last day but 
one ninety-seven members had put down questions, but 
he shouted at them that he was fed up with their talk and 
in twenty-four hours he hustled the Communist Constitution 
through. The Soviet members of the capital attacked 
those of the provinces ; they clamoured that it was their 
fault that the capital was starving, why did they tolerate 
all the counter-revolutions ? The provincial members, on 
the other hand, declared that the Communist administration 
was bankrupt, was worse than any other, and finally left 
the place as a protest. The wind was already veering and 
only Be"la Kun's terrorism saved the Directorate. The 
Commissaries were shouting : " We won't stand the 
preaching of pogroms in the Soviet ! " There was great 
excitement. William Bohm declared that an anti-Semitic 
pogrom putsch had been started in Budapest two days ago. 

The Commander-in-Chief held forth in gloomy strains : 
" Though the Red army is gaining victory after victory, 
the situation is not altogether rosy. . . ." On the 2nd 
of May, he declared, amidst frenzied applause, the People's 
Commissaries and the members of the Workers' Council 

O W 



were to proceed to the front. " Our publicity agents have 
spread the news over the country, yet the comrades still 
stick tight to Budapest. If Eugene Landler with his 
twenty stone can climb hills and lie in trenches under fire, 
surely the others can do their duty too, otherwise the 
Proletarian soldier will no longer believe in Proletarian 
equality." Then the Red Commander shouted in despair : 
" The reserves have not turned up. If this goes on for 
another four weeks, Vago, Landler and Pogany can go 
into the trenches under my leadership if they like, but 
there won't be any soldiers left. . . ." 

I pictured the scene and could not help laughing at its 
absurdity. I could see the twenty-stone mass of Landler, 
and Pogany's terrific circumference protruding from the 
trenches, while Comrade Bohm, the typewriter agent, with 
his Field Marshal's baton elegantly held to his hip, stands 
over them, the shadow of his legs throwing an on the 
deserted landscape. " A grandiose historical group," ' The 
People's Voice ' described it. Just so. 

My friends heard me laughing, came into my room, and 
laughed too. The children, who hadn't seen anybody 
laugh for a long time, could not understand what had 
happened to us, so they, too, burst out laughing. 

" And this is the gang which rules over us ! " . . . The 
laughter stopped suddenly and there was silence the same 
silence as yesterday and the days before that. The 
children stopped laughing too, and shyly left the room. . . . 

Another train whistled beyond the trees and a former 
artillery officer ran in for a moment to see the Huszdrs. 
Strange rumours are flying about : the army is falling to 
pieces all along the front : the soldiers are threatening to 
shoot their commanders : Bela Kun promised peace and 
bread and now they have war and paper money : at 
Branyiszko the Szekler battalions and workmen-soldiers 
demanded the national flag to be brought out and others 
left the front : yesterday a victorious regiment retreated 
from Leva to Ipolysag : on the Danube the Reds are 
retiring too, without any cause, dispersing in all directions : 
the men at the front have sent an ultimatum to Bela Kun 
demanding that the " comrades should come out into the 
firing line too," or they will fight no longer : all the soldiers 
are saying the same thing : "the Jews swagger about in 
patent leather boots behind the front while we die." 

It was not the ultimatum of Clemenceau and the Allies 
that stopped hostilities with the Czechs, it was this attitude 
of the troops. " Why did we beat the Czechs ? " the 


soldiers grumbled. " What was the good of shedding all 
that blood if we have to come back ? " 

" Our blood is cheap to the comrades ! " others 

The soldiers who are passing through the station talk 
about marching on Budapest : they are going to brain the 
People's Commissaries ! Huge inscriptions are chalked 
up all along the trains : "To death with Bela Kun 1 " 
" Kill the Jews ! " 

A poster has been stuck up opposite our house : it 
represents a Red soldier with Semitic features holding a 
rifle ; his raised hand points in front of him and his mouth 
is open as though he were pronouncing the inscription : 
" You ! Counter-revolutionaries, lurking in the dark, 
spreading false reports, Tremble I " 

* The Red Newspaper ' shouts in the same bloodthirsty 
strain : " We demand martial law against the Counter- 
revolution ! We demand that the administration of martial 
law should be placed in the hands of the only man fit for 
the position Comrade Tibor Szamuelly. Tibor Szamuelly 
is a brave and energetic man, who dares to be ruthless for 
the sake of the Revolution. . . . With ten men he crushed 
the Counter-revolution in Western Hungary. ... All 
honour to him who, in the interests of the Revolution, recoils 
from nothing, who has enough culture and courage to 
choose with energy and revolutionary faith the only path 
that is possible, the path that is inevitable, the path trod 
by Saint-Juste and Marat. The right system for every 
emergency, the right man for every job ! Martial law 
for the degraded Counter-revolution. Tibor Szamuelly for 
the suppression of the Counter-revolution ! " 

To-day's ' People's Voice ' reports that martial law has 
already been proclaimed ; its administrator, however, will 
not be Szamuelly but Commissary Joseph Haubrich, the 
Red Military Commander of Budapest, who is a Christian. 
But it is obvious why the choice fell on Haubrich and not 
on Szamuelly. The Jewish race is short-sighted where 
the lessons of history are concerned, though it is not lacking 
in prescience. Szamuelly's gallows, set up in the Hungarian 
villages, are not discernible in Paris and Rome, but foreign 
countries have their eyes on Budapest. So as far as 
Budapest is concerned let it be a Christian who sheds the 
blood of the Christians that rise against Jewish tyranny. 
The Red press proves this assumption to be correct. 
Szamuelly's slaughters were passed over in silence, but the 
first execution under martial law in Budapest is announced 



In Budapest and in the provinces small hand- written and 
typed handbills are now being circulated, marked " Copy 
this and pass it on ! " These handbills set forth the aims 
of the foreign race which, under the aegis of the Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat, has come into power, and appeal to the 
Hungarian people to be patriotic. Among others who 
undertook the distribution of these leaflets was Geza 
Herczeg, a young man of the clerical class. He was caught 
and " On Monday night the Revolutionary Tribunal 
sentenced him to be shot." 

So a Hungarian has died because he distributed bills 
inciting his compatriots to rebel against the Jewish terror. 
On the feast of Corpus Christi a young Jew spat on the 
Host, another fired at the altar, and in another place a 
volley was fired at the procession. Szamuelly favours the 
proximity of churches for his executions, but in Bela Kun's 
Soviet Republic there has been no conviction for persecuting 
Christians. The cup has now overflowed, the millions are 
beginning to see. The eyes of the soldiery have been 
opened by the useless deaths of their fellows and by the 
acts of the champagne -drinking delegates-to-the-front. 
Recruiting is announced to begin in our county to-morrow, 
but village after village is sending messages to the 
Directorate that it will not permit it. The peasantry is 
fairly aflame. * Comrade ' nowadays means Jew in the 
minds of the peasants. 

On the other bank of the Ipoly they have beaten the 
political delegate to death ; his name was Ignace Singer. 
I remember seeing the red-haired Ignace Singer, the 
torturer of Balassagyarmat, and the rest of the Directorate 
bolting in coaches from the Czechs ; it was he who, after 
the defeat of the local Counter-revolution, shouted from 
the balcony of the county hall : " Slaughter the bourgeois 
and don't spare their women and children ! " His voice 
will be heard no more nor will that of his friend, Comrade 
Riechmann, who has chosen the wiser part and has 
absconded with five million crowns in cash. 

One more storm and the fury of the betrayed people will 
break through the dams. The people has recovered its 
memory ; it remembers who exploited it during the war, 
who enriched himself by Hungary's disaster, who dragged 
it into the terrible peace, into civil war and death. The 
air is resonant with this new consciousness, conceived in 
blood. In the great plain one can hear metallic clicks 


which bode danger : with set teeth the Hungarian 
peasantry is sharpening its scythes ; and the edge is not 
meant for the crops, for the peasant looks towards Budapest. 
The news has been spreading for days. In the county of 
Pest counter-revolution has flared up. Asz6d and Pecel 
have risen, Cumania and the whole length of the banks 
of the Danube are in ferment. It started on the 19th of 
June, on the feast of Corpus Christi, and the tocsin carried 
the news from village to village along the banks of the 
Danube. The peasants took their scythes, tore up the 
railways and cut the telephone wires. The Directorate took 
to flight and the Red Guards surrendered and ran for 
their lives. 

Kalocsa, Dunapataj, Domsod, Tas, Lachaza . . . names 
that sound like ancient Hungarian music. They are 
ringing with the sound of Hungarian hopes . . . Hungarian 

June 25th. 

IT was long after midnight when I heard steps coming from 
the direction of the railway station. A voice said in the 
street : " There will be no trains for Budapest to-morrow." 

The news spread in the morning nobody knew who 
had brought it, it just came suddenly. The Counter-revolution 
has broken out in Budapest ! Imagination supplied the rest. 
The Hungarians working for us in Vienna ... a railway 
strike . . . the names of villages and counties . . . all 
along the Danube . . . the whole of Western Hungary, 
Szeged. . . . The Whites are marching with fifty thousand 
men from Szeged towards Budapest. 

Stories inspired by hope. 

Then somebody came from Vacz, bringing news. 
Yesterday at four o'clock in the afternoon four cannon- 
shots were heard in the direction of Budapest. The cannon- 
ade increased. People ran down to the banks of the 
Danube and listened with their ears to the ground. Many 
stuck ribbons of the national colours in their coats. There 
is a counter-revolution in Budapest ! The barracks rose 
against the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and most of 
the factories joined in. The monitors on the Danube 
shelled and destroyed the Hotel Hungaria, which had 
become Soviet House. The ships hoisted the national flag, 
and white flags are floating from the castle, from Mount 
Gellert, from the houses of Buda. 


A fierce joy seized me and I wanted to get out of bed,. 
I felt ill no longer. Then . . . nothing especial happened 
and yet things began to lose their brightness. Evening 
came. We laughed no more and suspense became pain. 

No newspapers arrived. The train was very late ; there- 
was a passenger from Budapest Comrade Frank, Dictator 
of the County, and once again he talked loudly under the 
porch, and he wore a red tie. A gentleman passed with a. 
white handkerchief protruding from his pocket. " Remove 
that counter-revolutionary badge ! " shouted Frank. My 
friends sat around me in silence, none of us dared speak of 
plans. Hope dried up in our hearts. Then the door was 
cautiously opened and somebody came in. It was a 
railwayman they always have the latest news. The- 
Counter-revolution in Budapest has been defeated, and 
those who were caught are to be hanged ! 

In Budapest everybody knew about it beforehand, 
people talked openly in the streets. The signal was 
expected for three o'clock, when the monitors would open 
fire. The moving spirits of the rising were Captain 
Lemberkovics and a military chaplain, Julius Zakany. 
Haubrich, the Red commander of the garrison, appeared 
to side with the rising and declared that in case of success- 
he would assume the military dictatorship ; in case of 
failure, however, he would deal mercilessly with the 
organisers. He also informed the credulous counter- 
revolutionaries that the Soviet had ordered him to declare- 
martial law. He had managed to postpone it till the 26th, 
but could hold out no longer. Let them therefore have 
the rising on the 24th, on Tuesday. Thus it was Haubrich 
himself who fixed the date and on Tuesday morning his. 
posters appeared on the wall. Martial law ! The carrying 
out of the Counter-revolution was entrusted to a Red 
brigade of Hungarian soldiers composed of about three 
thousand men, and they had thirty guns and a few 
armoured cars. Haubrich knew of this, and just before 
the rising he despatched the brigade to the Northern front. 
From that moment the Counter-revolution was reduced 
to a forlorn attempt, supported by the men of the artillery 
barracks, the monitors, the military academy and the 
patriotic workmen of a factory in UJpest. 

When the signal was given in the harbour of Old Buda,. 
the three monitors came forth under the national flag and 
began to shell Soviet House. Fifty pupils of the military 
academy occupied a telephone exchange and meanwhile 
people were gathering at the appointed places. Officers 


citizens, students and policemen met under doorways. 
The workmen, however, forsook the rising at the last 
moment. Many of the officers were late. In places where 
four or five thousand armed men were expected, only ten 
or twenty appeared, and of the twenty thousand hoped 
for only a few hundreds turned up. 

The men in the artillery barracks were restrained by 
Communist orators, who appeared suddenly and informed 
them that the Counter-revolution had already been 
defeated every where, and made them arrest their officers. 
The monitors gave up their useless cannonade and fled 
down the Danube to the south. The workmen of the 
factory were persuaded to surrender to a band of terrorists 
who had hurried to the spot. Shots were exchanged 
between Buda and Pest. The colours on the masts of the 
ships on the Danube and on the soldiers' caps changed 
from red, white and green to red as events took this turn. 
Terror Boys on lorries with machine guns raced through 
the empty streets, shooting into the windows and firing 
volleys at the houses, occasionally breaking into houses 
and carrying the occupants off. They tore down the 
national colours wherever they found them, and corpses 
began to strew the pavements. When evening came the 
unfortunate town knew that it had not yet freed itself 
from the tyrant and that there was seemingly no hope left. 
By its organisation the Red power had swept away in a 
few hours the rising of the barracks, the monitors and the 
factories. The whole thing crumbled away in blood, 
misfortune and retreat. Everything was lost. 

Not everything ! In the general collapse a handful of 
Hungarian boys kept the flag flying. The forsaken cadets 
of the military academy held out. Till next morning 
these boys in white uniforms defended the telephone 
exchange which had been entrusted to them against the 
assaults and machine-guns of the Red s . They also defended 
the building of their academy, besieged by a whole regiment. 
The attacking Reds were reinforced in the morning, artillery 
was brought up, and Haubrich sent a message to the effect 
that if they did not surrender he would have the whole 
place blown to pieces. Then only did the gate open and 
the heroes of the Counter-revolution lay down their arms. 
Soldiers with fixed bayonets drove a group of boj^s in white 
uniforms to the condemned cells. 

Everything is lost. Yet there has been this ray of light 
in a town wrapped in darkness and shame. Our honour, 
which the men could not defend, was saved by a few boys ; 


and through our despair there appeared a vision of a new 
generation worthier than the old. What will be their fate ? 
The nights are nights of terror and nobody sleeps ; some 
fight with horrors, others hope and pray. 

Poor boys ! I think of them and their mothers, of 
unknown, pale, sleepless women, strangers to me yet 
closely kin. I, too, have a mother. 

June 26th. 

THE Red press rhapsodizes to-day. " The Counter- 
revolutionary plot has failed. Capitalism attempted to 
regain its power. It was led on by a tricolour flag. The 
mean, cowardly bourgeois mob of priests, bankers, aristo- 
crats, officers, Jew boys, has crept out of its lairs to incite 

This is a cunning attempt to twist the truth. The 
persecution of the Christians must be screened, and as 
there is none to contradict it, Bela Kun's press boldly 
calls executed Christians ' Jews ' so as to persuade the 
grumbling people that the Dictators do not protect their 
own race. And it accuses the Jewish bankers of sympathy 
for the Counter-revolution so as to throw sand in the eyes 
of the peasantry led to the scaffold. Geza Herczeg, to 
whom they allude, was a Hungarian, and the Jewish 
bankers have nothing in common with Hungary's struggles. 

I have it on the authority of one of the noblest figures 
of the Counter-revolution, a friend of mine, that when in 
desperation the organisers of the Counter-revolution asked 
for a loan from the Hungarian Jewish bankers abroad, and 
the Hungarian aristocracy, for the present deprived of all 
its means, offered to guarantee it, they refused with 
derision ; for although the Dictatorship of the Proletariat 
is causing them temporary losses, they are ready to 
sacrifice themselves for the final triumph of their race 
and declare proudly that "this Bela Kun is, after all, a 
wonderful fellow ! " 

The written materials for the history which is to be 
compiled to-morrow is already being intentionally falsified 
by the newspapers of to-day. The Counter-revolution was 
not a fight of Capitalism against the Proletariat, it was 
a fight of the Hungarian nation against the foreign race. 
Its victims are not bankers and capitalists, but the poor 
Hungarian middle-class, starving intellectuals, struggling 
manufacturers, poverty-stricken officials, and artisans, 


while its butchers are not Proletarians but Szamuellys, 
Joseph Poganys, George Lukdcs and Bela Kuns. 

" Bad news . . ." 

It is cold. The door rattles and the wind comes in at 
every crevice. Out of doors under a leaden sky the trees 
are blown nearly to the ground. 

Someone says in a whisper : 

" There is an old saying that when there is a wind like 
this in June it means that the gallows are busy." 

They are hanging Hungarians everywhere. Brave 
Captain Lembrovics and his friend, Lieutenant Filipec, 
have been killed. They have hanged the leaders of the 
factory workers, Ladislaus Orszy and foreman Martinovics. 
Other factory workers and bourgeois have been shot in 
front of the factory by terrorists. 

' The People's Voice ' reports the news with satisfaction : 

" The Court martial has sentenced Stephen Kiss, Joseph 
Grasse and Ladislaus Szabo, former officers, and Zoltan 
Oszvdth, a captain on the active list, Antony 
Waldsteinbrecht, a former lieutenant of the reserve, 
and Francis Imrey, a former captain, to death by hanging.'* 

The Terror tribunal is now trying the pupils of the 
military academy. And who will count the corpses thrown 
into the Danube, the dead bodies lying in the streets ? 
Now and then one hears a name from among the many. 
Madarasz, a young medical student, was beaten to death 
because he had the temerity to study with a candle burning 
in his room. To the shame of humanity they have also 
murdered Dr. Nicholas Berend, the famous children's 

Comrade Haubrich proclaims proudly : " Order reigns. 
in Budapest," and has the following proclamation posted 

" After June 26th the doors of all houses must be closed 
at 8 p.m. No one is allowed in the streets after 10 p.m. 
More than three people must not be together in the street. 
All theatres and places of amusement are to be closed.'" 

And the Dictators order the city, distracted with sorrow, 
to hoist red flags on its houses. The walls are covered 
with orders. 

" Any counter-revolutionary attempt, or offence, will 
be punished by hanging. Any counter-revolutionaries 
caught armed will be shot on the spot. 

Budapest. June 25th, 1919. 

Joseph Haubrich, Bela Kun, 

Commander of the Garrison. Deputy Commander-in-Chief .'* 


They give orders, sentence and murder undisturbed. The 
wind is howling. Trees are blown nearly to the ground. 
And all over Hungary there are hangings. 

June 27th. 

Now that it has passed we begin to realise that even in our 
despair we had still hopes. It is no good to tell us we 
were wrong, we persisted in believing in the success of the 
heroic inhabitants of the banks of the Danube. That is 
over too, for there also the Counter-revolution has been 
defeated. A political delegate boasted loudly in front of 
the county hall of Balassagyarmat : " We have settled 
the whole lot. While Bela Kim and Haubrich worked in 
Budapest, Szamuelly dipped the peasants' rising in red. 
He took his revenge on the farmers. Any village that 
had injured the Jews was simply exterminated." 

People are fleeing from those parts, coming in our 
direction, and escaping over the Ipoly into the hills, where 
the Czechs are. The Czechs take our people to Olmiitz 
if they are officers and to Pressburg if they are civilians. 
The fugitives know the fate in store for them, yet they go 
there ; anything is better than the gallows. 

People escaping from sentence of death are continually 
ringing at the door, seeking Aladar Huszar. Somehow 
those who are in trouble know his name, and they come 
to him pale and exhausted, even as I came. Often they 
cannot speak, yet he understands them as he understood 
me. The Directorate keeps an eye on him and his house 
is watched detectives swarm around it. But he manages 
frequently, when night has come, to conduct anxious 
shadows through the quiet streets of the town to the living 
bridge across the Ipoly. Meanwhile the Red sentry loafs 
at the corner and glares at our windows. Hours pass. 
Mrs. Huszar walks quietly up and down in the next room. 
She stops suddenly, resumes her walk, then stops again. 
The whole house shares her vigil. Then the small gate 
opens ... so he has come home at last. The wind covers 
the tracks of the fugitives, the news of blood alone remains. 

The banks of the Danube are one continuous death 
rattle : for a whole week Szamuelly has been hanging. 
The Revolutionary Cabinet despatched him and he arrived 
with his terrorists at Kunszentmiklos the day after the 
rising. With him came his two Russian Jew hangmen, 
Itzigovic and Osserovic, and, dressed in black and with 


leggings, a little Jew hangman called Kohn-Kerekes. The 
latter was overheard having an argument with Gustav Nick, 
a freed murderer and terrorist, as to whether one could hang 
two or three within five minutes. 

Szamuelly toyed with his elegant chamois gloves. He 
wore patent leather boots, a Soviet cap, and on the breast 
of his Russian blouse a red Soviet star. Ignace Fekete, a 
telegraph operator, was dragged before him. Szamuelly 
inquired why his orders had not been obeyed ? " Hang 
him ! " Somebody told him that Fekete was a Jew. He 
made a sign to Kohn-Kerekes : " Let him go ! " Jews 
are only hanged by mistake. 

In Tass he had two men hanged on a mulberry tree in 
front of the town hall because they carried sticks. "Where 
did you buy those sticks ? " " Somewhere," the men 
answered haughtily. " Hang them ! " ordered Szamuelly. 
In Solt he had the notary and the innkeeper hanged. He 
spat on Lieutenant Azily when he was already on the 
gallows. And on he went with his hangmen. Csengod, 
Oregcserto . . . everywhere he hanged. 

In Dunapataj he met with resistance, so he attacked the 
peasants, who had only scythes, with guns. Yet they 
stood their ground for five hours. Hundreds and hundreds 
perished. In to-day's ' Red Newspaper ' Szamuelly reports 
in Dunapataj alone three hundred counter-revolutionaries 
killed. When his Terror Boys got possession of the village 
he had sixty men, old and young, hanged and shot without 
questioning them. He himself fixed the rope round several 
of the victims' necks and kicked ths corpses with his 
patent leather boots. In Dunafoldvar also the trees were 
turned into gallows. After a desperate battle Kalocsa 
was forced to surrender. Szamuelly erected his gallows 
in front of the house of the Jesuits. During the execution 
a priest in full canonicals, with a crucifix raised high, 
appeared in one of the windows and from a distance gave 
absolution to the martyrs. Poor Hungarian peasants, 
unknown yesterday, now immortal ! They were thrown 
naked into pits the Directorates did not even register 
their names. Szamuelly, with disgusting callousness, 
certified ' suffocation ' as the cause of death. 

A single gesture on the part of humanity would have been 
sufficient to save us from all this shedding of Hungarian 
blood. Instead, the victorious powers encircled us and 
pointed us out to their own working-men as an example 
of the blessings of practical Marxism. They talked of 
* pea:Ce ' in Paris. And to satisfy the more sensitive of 




their citizens their representatives in Budapest now and 
then entered a formal protest against the shedding of blood. 

A traveller came with the evening train from Budapest 
and he brought news. The Revolutionary Council had 
fixed Thursday for the executions, which were to take- 
place in public, in one of the finest squares of the town, the 
Octogon. All preparations were made : the military 
cordon was posted early in the afternoon : the Lenin Boys 
were there. The whole town was trembling with excite- 
ment and a crowd of some ten thousand people assembled, 
waiting and murmuring. There were no gallows it was 
intended to hang the counter-revolutionaries on the lamp- 
posts. The carts for the corpses arrived, and the excite- 
ment of the crowd increased . Six o'clock struck. Somebody 
shouted : " They are bringing the condemned ! " Then 
it was given out that the hanging would not take place. At 
the last moment Colonel Romanelli, the head of the Italian 
Military Mission, had sent a note of protest to Bela Kun, 
which was reported in the newspapers : 

" I address to you the demand that you respect without 
exception the lives of all the hostages and political prisoners 
who have fallen into your hands in consequence of the late 
events, including those who were taken after armed resist- 
ance. I warn you and every member of your Government 
that you will be called jointly and severally to account if you 
execute the sentences mentioned above." 

Bela Kun answered as follows : 

" The Hungarian Soviet repudiates all threats which 
render the members of the Government responsible for 
events which are the internal affairs of the country." He 
appealed to the " friendly feelings testified by Italy 
towards the Soviet " and expressed his doubt whether 
Italy could be the protector of " gangs of assassins who, 
in the interest of the Counter-revolution had intended to 
murder women and children and exterminate the Jews " 
and who had been sentenced by judges of the Soviet 
" according to their own laws." 

Szamuelly goes on hanging people in the provinces, but 
in Budapest the execution on the Octogon was prevented 
by the manly and determined attitude of the colonel. But 
while Italy saves a few lives with one hand, what action 
does she take with the other ? Why does Italy refuse to 
know who Bela Kun is and what it means in the eyes of 
Hungary that he can boast of his friendship with Italy and 
that the Red army can proclaim " We are smashing the 
Counter-revolution with Italian guns and Italian arms ? '* 


It is said that the pearls from the lovely white necks of 
Hungarian women go abroad, and that fine thoroughbreds 
-are driven from the Hungarian prairies in exchange for 
guns sent to exterminate us. 

If this is true, there will be no blessing on the exchange. 
Spilt blood will ooze out from under the pearls and from 
under the hoofs of the horses. 


June 28th. 

THE Counter-revolution has been beaten everywhere. The 
power of the Dictators seems never to have been greater. 
When they first came they had to share their power with 
the trade-unions, the Soldiers' Council, the ' confidential 
men,' the Peasants' and Workers' Councils and later on 
with the National Soviet. Within three months they have 
freed themselves of all these. First of all the peasants 
disappeared as a deciding factor. They were followed by 
the ' confidential men ' and these by the Soldiers' Council. 
The Workmen's Council was reduced to a shadow, the 
trade-unions were transformed and subdued, the Soviet 
was sent home, and of the remnant of these three they 
made a dummy, the ' Economic Council,' in whose hands 
the new constitution was placed. The beginning and the 
end of this Constitution is the domination of their race 
over the ruins of the destroyed power of the State. The 
edifice of tyranny has been perfected. All means and all 
power are in its hands. It has absolute sway over life and 
death. Law-giver, executive, judge, gaoler and executioner, 
all in one. 

The red flags of victory are floating over seas of 
Hungarian blood. The Dictators are revelling. Compli- 
mentary addresses and telegrams are pouring in. Among 
the first, Comrade Frank pays his homage to the Cabinet 
in the name of the Directorate of Balassagyarmat. The 
County of Nograd ! Its people bite their lips with shame 
and hatred. At the recruiting meeting of Balassagyarmat 
not a single man presented himself for enlistment, so the 
meeting had to be closed, and the Directorate asked the 
Government for Terror troops, so that violence and rifle 
butts may be used to force men into the army. 

Meanwhile the Red press reports a sequence of 
congratulatory addresses. The women raise their voices 
too. What may they have to say ? In the name of the 
national organisation of Communist women, Sarah Goldstein, 
Mrs. Elias Brandstein, Maria Csorba-Goszthony, Ida 
Josipovich and Vera Singer, the women whom the un- 
fortunate inhabitants of Budapest called ' Lenin Girls ' after 
the defeat of the Counter-revolution, " greet with love 



Comrade Haubrich and request him to present their heart- 
felt gratitude to the others." Meanwhile demented mothers 
and sisters weep for the captive pupils of the military 
academy and the shadows of horrified women roam under 
the acacias on the banks of the Danube. 

" The country honours the victors of the Counter- 
revolution." So the comrades of the Frank type swear 
to fight to the last breath for the victory of the Revolution, 
and Sarah Goldstein and those of her kin send their " loving 
thanks," their warm gratitude. Otherwise there is silence. 
Awful silence. And the summary tribunals of the 
Revolution are sitting permanently. 

Colonel Romanelli prevented the executions at the 
Octogon, but hostages are strangled secretly, quietly, on 
out-of-the-way building plots, in the deep recesses of dark 
yards. There are frequent executions in Parliament 
Square : the rabble hangs about there for hours on end ; 
women sit on the kerb and wait. 

" What are you waiting for ? " someone asked. " For 
an execution," a surly woman answered. 

It is so simple, the Entente sees nothing of this. Soldiers 
with fixed bayonets bring a victim. The hearse follows. 
The crowd turns to the steps. A volley is fired. The 
stones beneath the lions are battered with bullet marks. 
The hearse goes off slowly and the square becomes empty. 
There is nothing more to be seen. 

In the House of Parliament, on the side reserved for the 
Peers, are officers of the Political Investigation Department, 
modelled on the Russian Cheka, and Otto Korvin-Klein 
sits there in judgment. Since the representatives of the 
Entente have invited Bela Kun to disband the terror 
detachments, the Lenin Boys have transferred their 
quarters from the Batthyany palace to this place. 

In the adjoining houses people only sleep in the day- 
time : at night they look trembling towards the House of 
Parliament from behind their darkened windows. Above 
the entrance of the House of Lords shines a huge arc lamp. 
Motors pass incessantly. This is the time when the 
terrorists collect the hostages, the material for Korvin- 
Klein. The cars stop under the lamp. The light shows 
leather-coated men dragging along their miserable victims, 
whom they push into the entrance. Now and then a 
scream filters through the walls of the House of Parliament. 
Then, as if by word of command, the engines of the motors 
begin to purr, the horns are blown to drown every groan, 
every death-rattle. Armed Lenin Boys emerge from the 


gate, dragging a form with them. The group proceeds to 
the lower quay. Arms clatter, the steps die away in the 
distance. There is a splash. Then the black group 
returns, but there is no longer anyone in their midst. 
Romanelli has protested against public executions. But 
near the House of Parliament people cannot sleep at night. 

The streets are dark and empty. In the whole town 
there is but one other doorway lit up : under a red canopy 
an arc lamp burns above the door of Soviet House. Beside 
it is a small trench mortar and terrorists stand on the 
pavement in front of it. On the balcony a huge red flag 
hides the machine-guns, and the entrance is vividly 
illuminated. The People's Commissaries arrive in motor- 
oars. The terrorists line up. Present arms ! Mrs. Bela 
Kuii receives the same honours. And within the walls of 
Soviet House the comrades insist on being called 
* Excellencies.' 

A country gentleman told me about this ; ignorant of 
the change he went straight from the station to the Hungaria 
Hotel. The guards mistook him for somebody belonging 
to the place, and only when he wanted to pay his bill did 
they discover that he was an outsider. Afraid of being pun- 
ished, the frightened servants smuggled him out and the 
news of the orgies in Soviet House escaped with him. Michael 
Karolyi and his wife spend an evening there now and then. 

For a long time I had not heard of them. In the first 
week of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Michael Karolyi 
stood as an invisible power above the Revolutionary 
Cabinet. The People's Commissaries treated him with 
respect. But after the Soviet elections, when Bela Kun 
and his followers had obtained full control, Karolyi was 
thrust into the background. They wanted to send him to 
Godollo, the former royal residence, as Commissary of 
Production, and later they placed their former protector 
with a Communistic co-operative society. For appear- 
ances' sake Karolyi pays occasional visits to his office, but he 
does no work whatever. He has had a gramophone installed 
in his office. Detectives guard the peace of his villa in the 
hills of Buda, while motor lorries pass between the starving 
houses to carry food and ice to him. But the hospitals 
have no ice for their patients. His wife is often seen in a 
glaring red hat, driving through the quiet streets in the 
car of the People's Commissaries. At night they partake 
of the festivities of Soviet House behind locked doors, 
in company with Bela Kun, Comrade Dovcsak, Pogany, 
Landler and their womenfolk. The Gipsies who play to 


them spread the tale. The revels go on and the music 
never stops. Disregarding prohibition, French champagne 
flows freely. Tibor Szamuelly pours some into Countess 
Karolyi's glass, pouring it with the hand that fixes the 
rope round his victims' necks. They drink to the eternal 
prosperity of the Soviet, and costly banquets are consumed 
in illuminated halls while the dark town is starving. The 
evening ends in voluptuous dancing. Then the music dies 
away. . . . 

July 2nd. 
PEOPLE are being stopped in the street. 

" Your purse ! " 

The 91st order of the Revolutionary Cabinet is being 
put into execution : 

" The banknotes of the Austro-Hungarian Bank, of the 
denomination of 50, 100, 1000, and 10,000 crowns, are 
withdrawn from circulation on the 1st of July of this year. 
Anyone using them after that date for payment, accepting 
or proffering them or exchanging them, will be charged 
before a revolutionary tribunal. Besides the punishment, 
all notes found in the possession of the culprit will be 
confiscated. The informer shall receive half the value of 
the confiscated amount." 

Detectives are about and the Red soldiers are confiscating 
on their own account. They present their bayonets : 
" Your purse ! Get it out of your pocket ! Blue money is 
prohibited ! " and they take the notes of the Austro- 
Hungarian Bank. Some of them keep the purse too as 
a souvenir. But the white-backed Soviet money is re- 
turned with derision to the owner. Red posters on the 
walls proclaim : " Social production is the source of 
prosperity ! " The Soviet system, after despoiling the 
treasury, the safe deposits and private dwellings, has now 
started to ' produce ' from people's pockets. 

Just as Marxism was incapable of realising its political 
conception, so it is incapable of realising its economic 
ideals. In its attempt to alleviate the want of small 
change the Cabinet ordered six locksmiths' shops in 
Budapest to manufacture twopenny iron coins. The cost 
of production of each of these coins was over a shilling. 
The Marxian pamphlet theory has collapsed in the light of 
the sun ; its political application has resulted in unheard-of 
tyranny and slaughter, and its economic application in 
bankruptcy and robbery. 


The Jews have been spreading the news for days that 
the ' blue ' money of the Austro-Hungarian Bank is going 
to be valueless. This morning at dawn their wives went 
to the bridge over the Ipoly and stopped the peasant 
women who were bringing their baskets to town. An old 
woman from the other side came into the yard and told us 
that the Jewesses were, after all, kind to the poor people. 
They read out at the bridge the new law about the * blue * 
money. Those who did not turn back at the news had 
theirs exchanged by the Jewesses, out of sheer kindness, 
so as to save them from the Revolutionary Tribunal. For 
three two-hundred-crown bank-notes they had given her 
a thousand -crown Soviet note. Of course it was a 
' white ' note and her husband would not have such things 
in the house, but in any case the soldiers would have taken 
the blue notes and the white ones are better than nothing. 

Aladar Huszar came in. 

" What has happened ? Anything wrong ? " 

" No, nothing." He was looking for his wife. They 
talked for some time, then came back. I felt that they 
had read the anxiety in my eyes. 

" A reliable carriage has come from the other side of 
the Ipoly. You can escape by that." 

So we need worry no longer. Fate has decided. 

" We have no right to detain you. You are safer there." 
And tears stood in their eyes too. 

Aladar Huszar went to bring the carriage to the door 
while I packed my meagre belongings. It was slow work ; 
every trifle reminded me of something and every move- 
ment reminded me that I was still convalescent. Where 
shall I rest to-night ? To part from good friends to go on 
the road again, further from home, to knock again at 
strangers' doors ? To ask the Czechs for protection ! I 

When I had finished packing I sat down on a chair and 
held my breath. I wanted to think hard what I should 
have to do. I had little money and my boots were worn. 
Yet, somehow I must get to Nyitra, whence I could escape 
to Vienna. If I got well I might find some work. Or 
perhaps at Szeged. ... It tired me out to think of it. 

Noon came, then afternoon : Aladar Huszar came in 
with great glee, a smile in his eyes. " You've got to stay 
with us ! The carriage has gone, I could not find it. Fate 
has decided." 

" You stay at home with us," his wife said softly. 

Fate's carriage had gone. Goodness knows where it ia 


now. It may be a good omen, it may mean that these 
things will not last much longer. 

" We have lived through bad days together," said 
Aladar Huszar. " We will share the good ones that are 
coming as well." 

We smiled at each other. We know by now that 
sufferings unite people more than joys. 

July 5th. 

EVERYBODY says that Balassagyarmat will be in the neutral 
zone. Its military evacuation is expected for to-day and 
people are so excited they hardly know what to do with 
themselves. They stroll about in the street with their 
hands in their pockets. There is no work, no food ; the 
shops, even the chemists, are empty. Women gather at the 
street corners. And from the other bank there comes an 
uninterrupted stream of heavily-laden carts. Fine old 
furniture, bedding, mattresses, old family portraits, are 
heaped pell-mell on them. On one, amidst torn silk 
curtains, on empty bags, I caught sight of a beautiful 
bracket clock, the jolts of the car making its soul hum. 

" The famous Balassa clock from Kekko Castle," said 
Aladar Huszar. 

There came a flock of sheep, followed by a troop of 
singing soldiers, then a herd of pigs, and some cattle. 
Valuable Swiss milch cows with huge udders were being 
driven to the slaughter-house. 

The people glared gloomily at the plunderers. 

" The main roads are littered with books," a young man 
said in front of the window. " Everything you see has 
been stolen." The loafers shook their heads and swore. 
" The whole of the highlands is ruined. They did not rob 
the gentry only ! " 

" Who is all this going to belong to ? " an old peasant 

" Who ? " said a frightfully shabby man with a 
gentlemanly appearance. " Listen to this ! It tells you 
who : ' The Red soldiers' Ten Commandments. 10th 
commandment : Don't take rich people's houses, cattle, 
land or jewellery. Leave those to the Soviet.' ' : 

July 6th. 

THEY are coming ! Somebody said so and the news ran 
through the town and blossomed out in every little house. 


They are coming ! How often have we said these words 
with horror within the last terrible nine months. The 
soldiers are coming from the front and are no longer 
defending our frontiers. The French, the Czechs, the 
Rumanians, the Serbians, are coming. The Communists, 
the Red soldiers, the searchers, the detectives, are coming. 
They are coming, the terrorists. Then again we said, 
' the Rumanians are coming.' 

And now the words are in our mouths again and they 
sound joyful and great. Hungarians are coming ! From 
Szeged ! Everybody says so. It is simply a question 
of days. 

The Red press splutters with rage. It foams with vulgar, 
coarse words against the Entente and Count Stephen 
Bethlen, because it has heard that even in occupied 
territory Hungarian White Guards are allowed to be 
enlisted. But, according to * The People's Voice ' : " The 
comic-opera Government of Szeged has not strength enough 
to organise the rabble of the bourgeoisie, it has not even 
the power to form an armed force from its hooligans, 
cut-throats and gutter mob, for the realisation of its sinister 

We really know nothing at all, we do not even know 
whence the news came, yet we keep saying to each other : 
" They are coming ..." 

When darkness fell I took a walk in the little back garden. 
Suddenly somebody rose from among the shrubs, it was 
the wife of Gregory, the coachman : 

" Do tell me, please, Miss, what is happening ? " 

The question came suddenly and I answered instinctively : 
" Our own people are coming ! The Hungarians have 
started from Szeged ! " 

The old woman looked me straight in the eyes, as though 
seeking confirmation. It was obvious that she had some- 
thing to say. Then she folded her shrivelled old 
hands, and, in a devout, humble attitude, which 
words cannot express, her voice rose through the silent 
night : 

" Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy 
name ! " 

July 7th-10th. 

THE fleeing Directorates from the Highlands are flocking 
in and requisitioning houses for themselves. Female 
detectives have come from Budapest. The escaped 


Directorate of Losoncz has quartered itself on Balassa- 
gyarmat. Its chief, Comrade Szigyarto, terrorises and issues 
orders right and left. He wants to dismiss all the officials 
who had been left in their places and threatens that 
he will not allow any bourgeois family more than one room 
whatever be the number of its members. He commandeers 
whatever he wants take everything from the bourgeois ! 
They are taking even from the poor. Orders have been 
received that sixty head of cattle have to be sent to 
Budapest ; they will not even leave the milch cows. 

There is no food : the Government has stopped all 
supplies for Balassagyarmat, it being in the neutral zone. 
For days the bakers have baked no bread, nobody will 
cart wood, and there is no salt. A peasant offered four 
chickens for two pounds of salt, although he would not 
sell them for two hundred and forty crowns. One cannot 
buy anything for money. Our Sunday dinner cost us a 
towel and a sheet : everything is done by barter, money 
has disappeared from circulation. 

In vain has the Cabinet decreed under the pain of severe 
penalties that the ' blue ' money (of the Austro-Hungarian 
Bank) must be exchanged within nine days for their own 
* white ' banknotes. At ' The People's Bank ' of 
Balassagyarmat the people of the whole county have so far 
exchanged twenty crowns. The peasants hide their money 
and say : " What good is it to pay it into the bank if it is 
worthless ? Let the worthless things remain in our trunks." 
The other day a soldier stuck the white money he had 
received for pay on the wall. It has no purchasing value. 

The peasants laugh among themselves. They are hiding 
their crops, they did not enlist, and they will not give their 
money to Bela Kun. As for the propaganda speakers, 
they say : " We sent them back to the Government in 

Since things have taken this turn, the three hundred 
crowns daily wage fails to revive the enthusiasm of the 
Jewish agitators engaged by the Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat. The Commissary for Education has now 
decreed that henceforth the teachers will have to speak 
to the people in the villages. 

Voices in the next room. Railwaymen, postmen, simple 
citizens now frequently slip in by the back door ; they 
come for advice and bring the news. 


The Czechs have again entered Kassa, but the Rumanians 
have not withdrawn from the Tisza, whatever Clemeneeau 
may have promised. The heroic pupils of the military 
academy escaped death at the last moment : the Terror 
tribunal sentenced them to hard labour. This is to 
Romanelli's credit. It is said that it was he who delivered 
Baron Perenyi and his patriotic companions from gao! 
whither the Counter-revolution of June 24th had brought 

A deep sad voice spoke : " Fourteen counter- 
revolutionaries have been sentenced to death in Buda- 
pest. . . ." 

I strolled out into the little back garden but even there 
I could not breathe. The trees did not move. The soil 
was hot and above it the air trembled like leaves above an 
open fire. 

July 12th. 

THEY came slowly round the corner, talking with an air 
of importance. Then they stopped, as though quarrelling. 
They had Soviet caps on their heads and were dressed, 
regardless of the heat, in leather coats and black leggings. 
Then I noticed the hand grenades in their belts. They 
had a bestial look about them, with faces that betrayed a 
familiarity with gaol. The hand of one was covered with 
black hair and he had a costly ring on his finger. Where 
did he get it from ? I shuddered. 

They have been coming for days, their number has 
increased since the Entente insisted on the evacuation of 
Balassagyarmat. The forsaken town listens trembling at 
night when their nailed boots clatter along the pavement 
and stares at them with horror from under doorways, from 
behind drawn curtains. They laugh, boisterously, their 
mouths wide open. . . . 

I looked after them. As they lifted their feet I saw the 
heavy nails on their heels. How many human faces have 
they crushed ? 

The Lenin Boys, escaped convicts, miscreants ready for 
any mischief these are the props of the Dictatorship of 
the Proletariat. These are the men who take hostages. 
These are the judges presiding over the terrorist tribunals 
of Bolshevism. They judge and hang when and where 
they like. They can do as they like. Their commander is 
a sailor called Cserny who was a leather-worker before 
the war. His car is constantly racing through the streets 


of Budapest. Several people have described him to me. 
He always wears a cap drawn deeply over his face and 
goes about in a leather waistcoat with long sleeves, a red 
scarf round his neck. His face is clean-shaven and his eyes 
are animated by the soft, greedy expression which is 
characteristic of a bloodthirsty feline playing with its prey. 
There are many rings on his red hands and he uses scent. 
His appearance is that of a footman dressed in his master's 
clothes. His decisions are rapid, he does not waste time 
on his victims, and when he has finished with them he 
spends hours looking at the artistic frescoes of the House 
of Parliament. He is sentimental and without mercy. 
He purrs and claws. 

It is said that this man got to know Karolyi when the 
sailors mutinied in Cattaro. After the mutiny he fled to 
Budapest. He was given money by his friends and sent 
on a tour of instruction to Bolshevist Russia, where he 
made the acquaintance of Szamuelly in a school for 
agitators in Moscow. Soon after the October revolution 
lie came to Budapest and during the whole Karolyi regime 
he agitated undisturbed among the sailors. On the night 
of March 21st he commanded the plunderers. 

And since then this brigand* is the absolute master of 
the nights of Budapest. 

July 13th. 

IF bread runs short in a town the Revolutionary Cabinet 
at once despatches a propaganda speaker to the place. 

Comrade Soma Vass has arrived. 

The people taking their Sunday walk stopped in front 
of the town hall. Comrade Vass (Weiss is his real name) 
appeared suddenly on the balcony, near the red flag. But 
he wasted his time with his threats and incitements, the 
public remained cool and indifferent. 

A labourer shouted to him : " Give us bread ! " 

The speaker waxed hot : " That is not the question to- 
day. The question now is the preservation of the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat. We will not tolerate the 
Counter-revolution ! " 

" Is bread a counter-revolution ? " the labourer heckled. 

" Don't interrupt, comrade ! We shall crush the 
Counter-revolution. We shall exterminate it. We shall 
hang every bourgeois. If there are not enough gallows in 

* For a further account of him see pp. 228-229. 


this Soviet Hungary, we will grow them. Yes, comrades, 
we will grow them ! " 

The heckler swore. One man lit a cigarette and 
several cried, *' Shut up," but Comrade Soma Vass went on 
talking. Nobody paid any attention to him, the people 
chatting among themselves. " He will grow gallows . . . 
a nursery of them . . . grow them, shape them. . . . 
Well, at least he has a programme of a sort." 

And thus, after all the destruction, Bela Kim's spokesman 
has nailed down the only creative policy of Hungary's 
Socialist production. They are going to grow gallows. 

July UtJi-20fh. 

BELA Kun has sent a note to Clemenceau asking for the 
evacuation of the Tisza as promised in compensation for 
the abandoned offensive against the Czechs ; he received 
the following answer : 

" Bela Kun, Budapest. In answer to your wireless 
which you sent on the llth inst. to the President, the Peace 
Conference declares that it cannot negotiate with you as 
long as you fail to observe the conditions of the armistice." 

For a time I stared at the text of the telegram. How 
much blood, shame and suffering would have been spared 
to humanity if the victorious powers, instead of sending 
propositions through General Smuts to Bela Kun's band 
of murderers and dangling before the Soviet's eyes the 
possibility of its admission to the Peace Conference, had 
sent from the start a reply to this effect. Let the spilt 
blood and the inhuman tortures fall on the heads of those 
who wanted to bargain when conscience, honour and charity 
forbade any bargaining. 

It is all clear now. The victorious Great Powers did 
not enter into negotiations with Bela Kun because they 
were pressed to do so by then- own Proletariat, for that 
pressure would still exist, but simply because he made 
light of the integrity of the country to which he had not 
the slightest title. This shame can never be wiped out. 
The frigid, tardy note cannot restore the lowered dignity 
of the victorious States. 

Bela Kun answered, his reply couched in provocative, 
ironical terms. He made little attempt to disguise the 
doubt he had of Clemenceau 's veracity and derided his 
impotence to impose his will on the Rumanians and Czechs. 

Orders for mobilisation are again covering the walls of 


the town, and the village criers are walking the streets and 
beating their drums. Huge posters have made their 
appearance, representing the running figure of a sailor, his 
mouth wide open. His head is about two feet long, his 
arms about three yards. Above his head he stretches a 
red cloth inscribed with the words : To AEMS ! And 
while this frightful poster-sailor overruns poor, truncated 
little Hungary, deprived of its seashore, Bela Kun puts 
out his tongue at the peace conference. At the meeting 
of the ' Committee of 150 ' he rang the tocsin with one 
hand : " The Proletariat in Hungary is going through its 
crisis ! " The other he waved in triumph : " To-day the 
Hungarian Soviet is an important factor in international 
affairs, more important than old Hungary ever was ! This 
is proven by Clemenceau's last despatch. ..." He had 
a word for everybody, but through his boasting one could 
hear the chattering of his teeth. The Bavarian Soviet 
has died, the Austrian Soviet was never born, the armies 
of the Russian Soviet did not come to the rescue. And 
throughout Hungary his enemy Counter-revolution raises 
its head. It is there on the edge of the scythe as the stone 
sharpens it, it is in the glaring emptiness of the recruiting 
offices, at the idle writing desks of the offices, in the move- 
ment which hides the blue banknotes and refuses the 
white ones, in the stroke of every oar that crosses the 
Tisza at Szeged. 

The Dictatorship is groping about, seeking something 
to cling to. As a last hope it is clinging to the phantasma- 
goria of world-revolution, which, after all, was from the 
beginning the foundation of its politics. So the Soviet 
Cabinet has addressed an appeal to the Proletariat of the 
world, calling on it to demonstrate in favour of the 
Hungarian and Russian Soviets and to proclaim world- 
revolution on July 20-2 1st. 


July 21st. 

PEOPLE call revolutions * youth ' and ' dawn ' But 
revolutions are not daybreaks, nor are they the chaos out 
of which comes the beginning of all things. They are not 
the first hour of a new age, but the last decaying hours of 
a senile age in which the features of the times have become 

This is not dawn ! Revolution is the midnight agony 
of a passing age, when the vision of the future appears only 
through the blood and sweat of the dying. The senile age 
dies in the revolution. And when the disorder of dawn 
has passed and morning breaks, man becomes a child again 
and an autocratic power takes it by the hand and leads it 
back to order, to law, to church, to early Mass, into the 
presence of God. Then comes the youth of the age, the 
period of dreaming idealism, of fights for freedom, of Art. 
This age gathers flowers, ploughs and reaps, sings and 
follows the footsteps of the beloved. Then comes the age 
of manhood. It creates industry and commerce, it goes 
on board ship, weighs anchor and brings treasures from 
beyond the seas. The treasures increase, the superfluities 
accumulate and flow into a few hands, the reign of gold 
raises its head above the misery of millions. 

The evening comes over a pale world of ill omen. The 
nauseous scent of faded flowers pervades the air. In 
saturnalian revelries the cups are emptied to the dregs. 
These are the hours of wild, dissolute orgies, old faces 
painted to look young, derisive laughter. The bells of 
the churches only mark time, law is only respected by 
the simple and regarded no better than stupid, traditional 
nursery tales by the cunning. The tired incapable crowd 
is ruled by degenerates, hereditary wrecks, criminals and 
lunatics. Respect disappears, the hand that worked drops 
its tools and the hour of midnight approaches. 

Then comes the agony of the senile age. Blood is shed, 
flames rise to the sky and between fire and blood the age 
dies. Revolutions are not mornings. They are the death- 
struggles of the midnight hour. And we poor Hungarians 
have been for months the witnesses of such an artificially 



provoked agony. It ends the age, but, above my sufferings, 
I feel that the real dawn is coming towards us. 

July 22nd. 

THE day of the heralded world-revolution has passed. 
The Bed press gushes over the strikes in other countries, 
but reports that the Dictatorship will summon before the 
Revolutionary Tribunal any Hungarian workman who 
dares to stop work. In a fortunate country like Soviet 
Hungary there is no longer any need for strikes. In 
Russia, where happiness has been attained to an even 
higher degree, workmen who strike are executed. None 
the less there is no work being done in town to-day. Nor 
is there any on other days. Why work ? For forged 
bank-notes ? 

World-revolution ! That is the word which is being 
whispered to-day at street corners. A mad hallucination ! 
Yet, if it were to come ? What if man's evil spirits were 
powerful enough to send millions in the same hour to the 
assault of their God, their country, their home and 
humanity ? Or if Bela Kim's word is just successful 
enough to induce the Proletariat of the Western Powers 
to tie their Governments' hands so that things may continue 
here as they are for months and years, till the fire has 
burnt out ? 

A solitary figure came through the silence, came quickly, 
with an elastic gait, though the bag on his back seemed 
heavy. He turned his head constantly to right and left, 
and his eyes, widely opened, had a stare in them which 
reminded one of the demented. He looked round, then 
again started quickly towards the Ipoly. Then he 

This stranger passes here frequently nowadays, though 
he is not always the same. Sometimes he is young, some- 
times old. He is fleeing from gaol and death, and dreams 
of Szeged. Two friends of my brother Geza escaped this 
way, across the river. They came to the house, on their 
way to Szeged. They had no idea I was here, but they 
brought news of my brother. He is hiding in the hills of 
Buda, like the others who have not escaped abroad and 
are not yet in prison. 

They also told us that Stephania Tiirr had been in 
Budapest in June, looking for Count Stephen Bethlen and 
me, to take us to Italy. 


One evening there was a knock at our gate at an unusual 
hour and a newcomer stood in front of us like a shadow 
Count Stephen Keglevich, fleeing from his property in 
Abony. His wife and children are coming to us too, they 
have had to flee separately, so as not to attract attention. 
They were driven out by hunger and the children were 
on the verge of starvation, for the only food they could 
obtain was what the peasants succeeded in bringing them 
by stealth from Count Keglevich 's own farm. Since May, 
when Szamuelly suppressed the Counter-revolution in 
Abony, that region has been like a mortuary, and now 
war is beginning again there. So they are escaping to 
Ipolykiirt, beyond the Ipoly, to the plundered castle. 
There they will, at any rate, be able to sleep on the bare 
ground the one thing the Reds and the Czechs could not 
take away. 

The patriotic Counter-revolution of the faithful Vends 
in Western Hungary has been defeated by the Reds and 
the Vends have fled into Austria. They have been interned 
in Feldbach and many Hungarian officers have joined them. 
Baron Lehar is their commander. In Szeged the legendary 
hero of Novara, Nicolas Horthy, is Minister of War. Paul 
Teleki is Foreign Secretary. General Soos and Gombos 
are organising the national army. When I took leave of 
the latter in March, I knew that I should hear of him if 
I lived. 

It is said that Colonel Julier, the new Chief of Staff, who 
was forced to take Stromf eld's place at the point of the 
revolver, will be Red only till he has crossed the Tisza. It 
is also said that whole battalions of the Red army are 
deserting to Szeged. In our imagination that town, like 
a mirage, is floating amidst national coloured flags on the- 
banks of the Tisza, above the Great Plain. We see the- 
three colours, we hear the National Anthem whenever we 
think of the town. Our proscribed flag, our proscribed 
hymn ! I am a beggar, for the property of the dead and 
the condemned reverts to the Soviet. But when my 
imagination sees the three colours floating against the sky, 
when the great prayer of my race echoes in my mind, I am 
the richest woman in Hungary. 

A hand has put ' The Red Newspaper ' on the table : 
big type again : " Revolutionary outbreaks in Paris, 
Berlin and Turin. Demonstrations of the foreign 
Proletariat in favour of the world-revolution." Then, set 
in small type, a short notice : " Kiel . . . The demon- 
strations have passed without the slightest disturbance. ' v 


That is the history of the world-revolution. It is finished 
and the door is still open. 

July 23rd. 

THE news is in everybody's mouth : the Reds have won 
a decisive victory on the Tisza and the members of the 
Directorate have regained their confidence. It is from the 
attitude of these people that the town reads the position 
of the Dictatorship. Their star is in the ascendant and 
the Proletarians treat us with more rudeness than ever. 
Red colour has again blossomed out on the soldiers' caps, 
but they do not feel too sure about it, and instead of ribbons 
they wear geraniums. That generally means that the 
position is doubtful : a ribbon cannot be removed suddenly, 
a flower is quickly torn off. 

Goodness only knows how often I have wandered round 
the little back-garden. If it is really true that the Reds 
have crossed the Tisza ! Those who have seen their bestial 
destruction in their own country, and observed them 
returning with booty stolen from people of their own 
blood, must falter when they think of their victims, 

" What news ? " 

In Huszar's hand the journal's yellow, mean paper 
rustled. " They have crossed . . . " he paused, then went 
on : "... On July 20th we crossed the Tisza at various 
points. . . . From Tokaj to Csongrad we are pursuing 
the beaten Rumanian troops everywhere. ..." 

So they have won a victory with our blood against our 
own blood ; for this is not a question of Rumanians. A 
defeat of the Rumanians, the re-occupation of the torn-off 
territory, the release of our Hungarian brethren, were not 
the objects of the Dictatorship's ambition, but a new 
larder and a new field for robbery, new slaves and new 
legions. And we cannot even deceive ourselves with the 
belief that the news is untrue. It is true, it must be true, 
because Bela Kun, who loses his head when in despair and 
is impudent after success, has sent to Clemenceau, the 
President of the Peace Conference, the following ironical, 
provoking message : " We have been obliged by the 
Rumanian attack, which was undertaken against the 
wishes of the Entente, to cross the Tisza, and to enforce 
the wishes of the Entente against the Rumanians." 

Our thoughts travel wearily to those parts where, behind 
the receding Rumanian flood, foreign energy will set against 



each other the few remaining Hungarians. Szamuelly's 
train is under steam, and if it starts it will plant the further 
shore of the Tisza with gallows. 

A tightly -shuttered house has been burning here in 
Hungary for months. Nobody tried to extinguish it. At 
last the smoke choked itself, the fire burnt itself out. Who 
troubled about those who were in the house ? Those 
outside cared only that the fire should not spread to the 
adjacent houses. Now the windows of the house on fire 
have burst, the fire has been revived by the air, the flames 
lick the palings, spread, flare up, run. W T hat if they were 
to ignite the Great Plain and unite with the Russian 
conflagration ? 

Evening came. Hours dropped into space. One of us 
picked up the paper and we now noticed something for the 
first time. Below the news of the passage of the Tisza, 
three words darkened the page : " Sentence of death." 
At Saint Germain the victors presented their peace treaty 
to the remnant of Austria. 

Our quarrel with Austria has lasted for centuries, and 
she brought us hard times, yet there is no people on earth 
to whom her fate causes as much pain to-day as to us. We 
have fought and fallen together on the battlefield. Now 
they hang a beggar's satchel round the neck of unfortunate, 
torn Austria, and out of irony, with devilish cunning, send 
her to take her share with her own predatory enemies, in 
the plunder of Hungary. They compensate her with 
Western Hungary, with a piece of land that promises 
endless revolts and is meant to act as a living wedge to 
prevent for ever an understanding between the two 
despoiled peoples. It is a devilish plan, the most perfidious 
part of the terrible Peace Treaty. It pretends to be a 
present, but it is a curse and a disgrace. 

A single candle was burning on the table, and by its 
light we could see a map on the wall the map of Hungary ! 
That unit of a thousand years which was not created by 
man but was made into one country by nature. The 
thing I could never believe, which was always deemed a 
threat meant only for the Revolutionary Bolshevist 
Government, the frontier of Hungary as delineated by 
Clemenceau, has disclosed itself in the Austrian treaty as 
the real aim of their vengeance. In the name of peoples 
and nations the men at the Peace Conference are preparing 
a crime which is only paralleled by the partition of Poland. 
Suddenly I see, like a train of misty ghosts, a shackled 
procession pass before my eyes : the granite walls of the 



Carpathians ; the mysterious rushes of Lake Ferto ; the 
sea under the Carso ; the Danube rushing through the 
Iron gate ; the summits of Transylvania ; the forests of 
Marmaros all of them under a foreign yoke ! I did not 
own an inch of that ground, and yet it was all my own. 
They take it from me, and equally from everyone who is 
Hungarian. Aladar Huszar has drawn upon the map the 
frontiers fixed by the Paris Peace Conference. It is as if 
a knife were passing through our flesh, leaving a line of 
blood wherever it passes. The ancient frontiers are all 
left far beyond the line and deep in the country there is an 
awful gash. The red line proceeds on the map, staggers 
now and then as though in horror, stumbles, recoils and 
then goes on, leaving ancient Hungarian cities without, 
cutting pure Hungarian regions in two, leaving a miserable, 
truncated body the Hungary of the Peace Conference ! 

Those who have never leant over the map of their own 
country, those who have never drawn with weeping eyes 
new frontiers within the old historical boundaries at the 
bidding and according to the predatory desires of enemy 
peoples, those are ignorant of the meaning of torture, of 
lust for vengeance, of revolt, of hatred, of patriotism. 

" We shall take it back ! . . ." 

Which of us said it ? It matters not. It is not the 
saying of one person, it is the word of a whole nation. Even 
in our misery and destruction we had the strength to say 
it. " We will take it back ! " That is the phrase which 
all our coming generations will breathe. That is the phrase 
mothers will teach to their infants. Bride and bridegroom 
will pledge each other's troth with that phrase before the 
altar. Those who go will leave this phrase as an inherit- 
ance, those who remain will take their oath upon it. We 
will take it back ! The last clod, the meanest tree, every 
spring, every blade of grass, every stone. 

Nothing moved in the silence of the night. Only the 
flame of the burnt-out candle flickered. 

" Let us go ... we must sleep. This is the last candle 
in the house. . , " 

July 24th-29th. 

THERE is one piece of news to-day that gives us some hope. 
Even if the ship seems still afloat, it is sinking, for the 
first rats are leaving it. Michael Karolyi, who proclaimed 
he would hold out to the last breath, who has betrayed 


Hungary and has driven her into Bolshevism, has been 
arrested with his wife and secretary at a Czech frontier 
post and sent to Prague. Retribution must be near, for 
he was afraid and fled. It is reported that since the banks 
refuse to pay more than two thousand crowns to any one 
individual, he provided himself with several millions of 
Austro-Hungarian Banknotes and a false passport. He 
wanted to go through Vienna to Milan, but Italy did not 
desire his presence. Bavaria refused to admit him, but 
Prague offered him an asylum. They owed it to him. 
Without Michael Karolyi the Hungarian Highlands would 
never have passed into Czech captivity. 

He has gone, fled from the nation's just vengeance, but 
he cannot escape the long arm of God's justice. Millions 
of Hungarians driven into slavery and homelessness, seas 
of spilt Hungarian blood, miles of Hungarian land, cry out 
to heaven against him. 

A mean man, a debased politician, and one of the greatest 
traitors in the world's history. 

Iscariot has passed. 

July 29th-31st. 

SOMETIMES one can learn a town's news by watching its 
street corners. To-day some soldiers gathered opposite 
the house. One of them said something, gesticulating, 
while the others stood and stared at the pavement. There 
were no red flowers in their caps, though I saw some in the 
gutter. Shortly afterwards I saw them leave the village 
with their bundles on their backs and disappear through 
the corn-fields. 

Everybody is talking about the tremendous losses of 
the Red army. The official papers try to screen them : 
" Our victorious armies. . . . The whole of Rumania's 
forces opposing them. . . . We withdrew our troops 
behind the Tisza, in perfect order, without any losses in 
men or material. ..." 

" Twenty-eight thousand dead," says rumour, and ten 
thousand men are reported drowned in the Tisza. Soma 
Vass need not plant his nurseries for gallows, the wholesale 
murder of Hungarians has been successfully accomplished 
on the banks of the Tisza. And while they died, Comrade 
Landler, the Commander-in-Chief of the Red army, and 
other comrades watched them from a safe place through 
field-glasses. The Rumanian victory and the defeat of 


the Reds are both paid for in Hungarian blood. Never 
have Hungarians died a more tragic death. 

If this sort of thing lasts much longer there will be no 
one but lunatics left when the end comes. Every hour 
brings new tales of terror. In Budapest Tibor Szamuelly 
is gaining more and more power. He wants to become 
Dictator. Hitherto the Dictatorship has been too lenient, 
so the terrorists are going over to his side. And their one 
idea, before they lose their power, is to be revenged on the 
nation. Already the Directorates have received secret 
instructions and are drawing up lists. " Szamuelly is 
preparing for a massacre of the citizens. None shall be 
spared, neither artisans nor peasants. 

News comes from the other bank that the Czechs are 
returning. They say they have orders to occupy Vacz 
on the 3rd. More and more soldiers are disappearing from 
the village, and Terror Boys are continually flowing in 
from Budapest to take their place. There are already 
eighty here. 

After the arrival of the evening train people steal in the 
dark towards the Ipoly. Hitherto it has been Hungarians 
who were escaping, now it is mostly Jews who slink along 
the walls carrying parcels. In the town hall they are 
feverishly packing up the archives of the Directorate ; 
the Jewish comrades have again withdrawn into the 

Szijgyarto has now become the absolute master of the 
town. Among other things he issued an order to-day that 
every individual who is not registered and whose stay is 
not considered justified by the Directorate must leave 
Balassagyarmat within twenty-four hours, on pain of being 
summoned before a Revolutionary Tribunal. Those who 
come from Budapest will be sent back there under police 
escort. Once more there is talk of searching houses : the 
terrible hand groping for me has returned. It will be bad 
luck if it catches me now when its days are already 

We discussed the matter and the old plan of escape was 
revived across the Ipoly, somehow to Vienna, to Szeged ; 
but again the horror of asking hospitality from the Czechs 
in my own country, my poverty, my illness, interfered. 

" Let's wait and see how things develop," said my 

How often have they said that ! 

Suddenly I thought of the house in Sziigy : I 
could not leave without bidding it farewell ; so I 


(This photograph was found at their headquarters.) 


walked over to it and saw the garden and its mistress 
once more. 

When I was there last the crops were still standing ; now 
the wheat was in sheaves and summer walked between their 
gold over the fields. Then I came to the garden and found 
that the clean-swept courtyard was no longer a soldiers' 
right of way. Crimson ramblers were blooming on the 
walls of the house, and round about the pump the down- 
trodden grass had sprung up again. On the terrace, green 
plants and garden furniture had taken the place of 
ammunition boxes. How rapidly the ruts of ammunition 
carts and service waggons and dirt and garbage disappear. 
Will it be like this elsewhere too ? 

Before I left, Mrs. Beniczky walked through the garden 
with me and we stopped for a moment near the trees 
between which I had caught a glimpse of the hussar bugler 
among the Red soldiers, near the bushes whence I had 
watched Pogdny's car. How much had happened since 
then ! The trees had become dark green and grave ; the 
garden had passed its nuptial glory. Its wreath had 
faded, its most beautiful flowers had gone. 

When I reached the small railway station of Balassa- 
gyarmat I saw that soldiers were running about, throwing 
their arms into waggons. " They are evacuating the 
town," said a railway man, laughing scornfully. On the 
open track, amidst piles of boxes and bags, carriages, 
bedding, machine-guns, and pianos were standing near the 
waggons, ready to be loaded. The streets were quiet, but 
carts were standing at the doors of some of the houses and 
people were hurriedly packing things at random into them. 
They are running away ! Yet Comrade Landler reported 
in ' The People's Voice ' of the 29th that : " There is no 
change in the situation at the front." 

The Red press is indulging in paroxysms of fury against 
the Szeged Government. " Cheats, scoundrels, Jingoes," 
are the epithets bestowed by Bela Kun's newspapers ; and 
all the time little handbills are being secretly passed from 
hand to hand. They were dropped by an aeroplane from 
Szeged : " The hour of delivery is at hand ! Prepare to 
support the National Government ! " 

The village listens, tense under the Red posters which 
disfigure its walls. It listens abstractedly, as though 
trying to hide its thoughts, and behind closed doors and 
windows people put their heads together. Stories born 
of desire are spreading, but the insufferable thought that 
we are in need of help from the Rumanians dominates our 


imagination and hopes : " The national army has already 
left Szeged ! . . . Whole Red regiments have passed over 
and have laid down their arms. White Hungarian troops 
will come with the Rumanians. Perhaps to-morrow. . . . 
In Budapest the commander of the garrison has prepared 
the population for a general alarm should the Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat be in danger. The whole town is covered 
with posters. ... An hour after the alarm has been 
sounded nobody must be in the streets. Soldiers must 
hurry to their barracks, workmen to their respective 
headquarters. Within an hour from the alarm all electric 
trams must be withdrawn. . . . All shops and public 
offices must be closed at once, as well as the doors and 
windows of houses. Simultaneously with the alarm martial 
law will be declared." 

Such preparations have never been made before, either 
in May when the Rumanians attacked, or in June during 
the Counter-revolution. Those who come from Budapest 
speak of the disruption of the Red army as it retires, of 
its anarchy, of mutinies of Terror detachments, of 
Szamuelly's autocracy. It is impossible to get a clear 
picture of what is happening : " The White army is ap- 
proaching ! The Rumanians are advancing from the Tisza ! " 

One can hear the crackling and collapsing of the 
Dictatorship. The powers of the Entente have sent a 
note, and the Cabinet has felt obliged to publish it in its 
press. This note is no longer addressed to the Soviet or 
the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. At last, then, the 
Allied and Associated Powers are going to address them- 
selves to the Hungarian people ! Under the title : 
' Declaration of the Entente on the Blockade ! ' the Red 
press screens the Note of the Powers in which they declare : 
" We sincerely desire to make peace with the Hungarian 
people. ..." But peace can only be concluded if the 
Hungarian people is represented by a Government which 
" represents really the will of the people, and not by one 
whose power rests on terror." 

It has taken the Entente Powers four and a half months 
to come to this decision ! No wonder they have been slow 
to discredit Bela Kun, for, after Karolyi, he has rendered 
them invaluable service. He has ruined and robbed 
Hungary of her last sources of strength. Now they can 
take possession of the booty which is no longer capable of 
offering resistance and can pay with our thousand years* 
old possessions the war bills presented to them by their 
little allies. 


August 1st. 

THE news reached the village last night. The Red army 
has gone to pieces. Comrade Landler reports that after 
" the unchanged situation at the front, we are attacking 
the Rumanians who have crossed the Tisza. . . . The 
Red army is in perfect order and has gained a victory over 
the Rumanians. . . . We have retired, unbeaten, of our 
own accord." 

The members of the Balassagyarmat Directorate are 
unable to disguise their nervousness, the comrades are 
rushing about the shops clamouring to buy no matter what 
so long as they can get rid of their white Soviet banknotes. 
But however much they pester and threaten, the shopkeepers 
refuse to sell. The shop windows are empty, only the 
propaganda shop of the Commissariat of Education still 
offers its wares pamphlets, portraits of the Commissaries, 
Red stars, badges with the ' Red man ' and plaster busts 
of Lenin and Marx. But these are at a discount to-day. 
The town is practically without traffic and the telegraph 
wires bring incessant orders from Budapest : " Let 
everyone remain at his post, Let none dare to run 
away. ..." 

Steps halted outside and I heard a Semitic voice say : 
" Let us lead it into other channels. ..." W T hat did 
that mean ? While I was pondering the front door-bell 
rang. The Sub -prefect has come with a wire from 
Budapest. Bela Kun's rule is over ! 

Something snatched at my heart and I felt that I wanted 
to shout. 

" It's certain to be true," the Sub-prefect said. " A 
purely Socialist Government is being formed." And he 
folded his hands carefully as if he were afraid of committing 

A purely Socialist Government ! That was not what we 
had expected ! Now I remembered the rumours that the 
delegates of the Entente had not been negotiating with 
the Viennese committee of Count Stephen Bethlen, nor 
with the Government of Szeged, but had been exchanging 
pourparlers for days, not with Hungarians, but with 
William Bohm, Ku'nfi and with Karolyi's henchman, 

I thought at once of what I had heard outside my window : 
" Let us lead it into other channels. ..." 

So the Jews are still to be our leaders : the Red hangmen 
of yesterday are resuming their old garb of moderate 
Socialism and are preparing to pass the power from one 


hand into the other. The world-revolution has not come 
off, and there have been other mistakes in their calculations ; 
they reckoned every item as they thought the threats of 
the Entente, the attacks of the Rumanians but they forgot 
to take into account that dying Hungary might have energy 
enough to cross its arms over its torn breast and undermine 
Bolshevism from within with its old weapon, passive 
resistance, despite the failure of the Entente and Rumanian 

There were shouts in the guard-room opposite : 

" Who said that ? Arrest him ! " And Red Guards and 
Terrorists rushed towards the post-office. If the post- 
master said so, he must be arrested. But instead of 
answering them the postmaster called up Budapest, a 
Terrorist meanwhile holding one of the receivers. And 
along the wires the question rang to Budapest. The 
answer came at once : " The Government has resigned, 
the Soviet exists no longer. Budapest is mad with 

The Terrorists glared at each other terror-stricken, but 
they did not arrest the postmaster ; instead they went to 
the Directorate for instructions. But the Red offices in 
the town hall were empty and the comrades had disappeared. 
Some of them had been suddenly taken ill and had been 
obliged to go home. The news rushed along the darkening 
streets and in a few seconds it had spread all over the town. 

Peace on earth and goodwill among men ! 

The house became too narrow for me. So did the garden. 
A violin was being played next door, sobbing to the accom- 
paniment of a piano. Then, in spite of ourselves, we all 
burst into the forbidden, outlawed, Hungarian hymn. We 
just stood and sang, and the National Anthem went up in 
that summer night, to the starlit firmament. 

Below, in the dark, on the other side of the street, 
noiseless dark figures slunk away. In the light streaming 
from open windows the neighbours stood bare-headed. 
They were praying too. 


August 2nd. 

THE shepherd's flute sounded slowly through the breaking 
morning. I felt disappointed ; my elation had passed ; 
my mind was still racked with anxiety. Everything 
seemed the same in the streets : the red flag was still 
floating over the county hall, the Red soldiers were leaning 
out of the guard-room window just as they had done during 
the victories of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat over the 
Czechs. A schoolmaster who lived near by was walking in 
his shabby Sunday coat towards the teachers' Communist 
school. What has happened ? The gates of the prison 
are open : are the captives afraid to leave it ? 

A little boy took his red, white and green toy flag from 
above his bed and waved it out of the window. A man in 
the street shouted at him threateningly. 

About noon the wife of a neighbour came, bearing 
alarming news : they want to arrest Aladar Huszar. He 
went to the teachers' Communist school and distributed 
ribbons with the national colours and made a speech 
to the teachers. When Comrade Weiss, the examining 
Commissary, arrived, the National Anthem was filling the 
place. In his fury Comrade Weiss tore up all the teachers * 
certificates. The Jewish teachers stood by him, while the 
Hungarians left the place with Huszar, singing the National 
Anthem. Outside Red guards met them and tore the 
national colours off all of them. 

So when Aladar Huszar came home we hoisted a huge 
red, white and green flag on the house. 

The drum ! What has the Town Crier to say now ? . . . 
" It is forbidden to wear or exhibit any emblems. . . ." 
Presently two hooligans invaded us and tore down our flag, 
but we don't care. The whole village is in a ferment. 
Patrol followed patrol. A man feverishly pasted pink 
posters on the walls, displaying the telegram of the 
Secretariat of the Socialist-Communist Party. 

" As the result of an agreement with the Entente, a 


formed by the trade unions has assumed power. The 
officials of the existing workmen's organisations will 



continue to act without interference. . . . The strictest 
martial law is to be proclaimed." 

Green posters were then stuck up beside the pink ones 
all along the street, containing the text of the new 
Crovernment's telegram. They called themselves a 
Workmen's Government instead of a Revolutionary 
^Cabinet, Ministers instead of Commissaries. President : 
Peidl ; Interior : Peyer ; Justice : Garami-Griinfeld ; then 
followed three of Bela Kun's Commissaries : Agoston- 
Augenstein for Foreign Affairs, Haubrich for War and 
Dovcsak for Commerce ; at the end of the list the former 
President of the Soviet, Garbai. Minister for Education. 

I remembered the conversation I had overheard 
.yesterday : " Let us lead it into other channels. ..." 
Moritz Kolm has arranged his fraudulent bankruptcy and 
suddenly Mrs. Moritz Kohn's name appears above the 
shop. But what is the National Army doing ? 

The Dictatorship of the Soviet collapsed with the Red 
army ; its position became hopeless on the 31st of July 
when it became known that the Rumanians would not stop 
-a second time at the Tisza. Bela Kun had hurriedly con- 
voked the Workers' and Soldiers' Council of Five Hundred 
yesterday afternoon. And in the great hall of the new 
town hall, where on the 21st of March a handful of men 
had proclaimed the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, Bela 
Kun resigned in a halting, tearful voice. During the 
night he fled with the other Commissaries and their families 
to Austria, finding protection under the wings of their 
-co-religionist Chancellor Renner. With the help of the 
Peidl Government they made their way to the frontier, 
protected by an escort supplied by the Italian military mission 
in Budapest ! It is said that Szamuelly ha,s disappeared. 
But among those who fled with Bela Kun was the blood- 
thirsty Weiss and so were Schwarz, Vago and Pogany, 
and the twenty-stone lawyer, Comrade Landler, the Red 
Oommander-in-Chief. They absconded from their army 
between the Danube and the Tisza, after having driven 
it into death and destruction, though they had sworn to 
stand by it to the last drop of blood. 

Without wounds received on the fields of Bolshevik 
glory, but with many millions of Austro-Hungarian bank- 
notes, they disappeared into the obscurity from which 
they had emerged to Hungary's misfortune a few months 
before. They have gone, as Michael Karolyi did before 
them. So the country hoisted its tricolour flag once more. 
But the Government of Peidl, which not only tolerated 



but abetted and organised the flight of the criminals, 
would not tolerate such a resurrection ; so it forbade the 
flag and proclaimed martial law. 

Aladar Huszar has been arrested in the street and is in 
prison. The commander of the Red garrison wants to 
have him executed for the National Anthem incident, and 
for wearing ribbons of the national colours, but the chief 
of the police telephoned to Budapest, asking that he be 
reprieved. The answer came : " Keep him in custody 
and let the Terrorists take him to Budapest." The 
Terrorists openly declare that they are going to settle with 
him on the way. Mrs. Huszar wanted to see her husband, 
but the Terrorists would not let her. " Comrade Szijjgyarto 
is interrogating him now." The news spread like wildfire. 
Machine-guns were mounted in front of the county hall. 

Then the whole town began to simmer and even the 
inhabitants of the red-postered houses came forth 
officials, teachers, the whole educated class, the people of 
no importance coming to protect the unimportant folk's 
friend. The railway men, the postmen, all of them, 
clamoured that Huszar should be set free. And suddenly 
the Red garrison went over to their side. 

The drum again : 

" Anybody found in the streets after 9 p.m. will be 
arrested by the Red patrols." 

But just then the Red guards sent a message to Comrade 
Szijgyarto that if the prisoner was not released by nine 
they would lay down their arms and refuse to serve any 

People were talking excitedly in the streets, saying that 
the Rumanians were already in Aszod and were coming 
in our direction. Comrade Szijgj^arto shook his fist with 
rage : " I ought to have had him hanged at once." The 
crowd became more and more threatening and at nine 
o'clock Aladar Huszar was at home. He was quite calm. 
Comrade Szijgyarto had ran at him with raised fists, had 
pointed a revolver at him, and threatened to shoot him. . . . 

Suddenly we heard sobs from the end of the table. It 
was only then that we noticed the children. With wide 
open eyes, deadly pale, they were standing there and they 
had heard everything. When we were as small as they 
my mother would not allow anyone to tell us gruesome 
stories ; but in spite of their parents the children of this 
age live through things which we were not even allowed 
to be told in fairy tales. 


August 3rd. 

THE town is in the hands of the Terrorists and no news 
comes from Budapest. The last message came this morn- 
ing. The delegates of the Entente are negotiating with 
the new Government and are inclined to recognise it. The 
Rumanian advance has ceased. 

In the streets of Balassagyarmat the Communists, who 
were trembling yesterday, are again assuming a provocative 
attitude ; the comrades who were ill recovered suddenly. 
The propaganda shop has been opened again and the 
window is full of Communist Declarations. More than 
two people are not allowed to meet in the street. 

The Terrorists wanted to arrest Aladdr Huszar again, 
but he had fled. The door-bell is ringing all day detectives 
and red guards inquiring for him. And in the village the 
inhabitants and the railwaymen are arming secretly. 

August 4th. 

A SHOT was fired close to the house and this was followed 
by a regular fusillade. People came running out of the 
houses and for some minutes there was confusion. The 
wife of Gregory, the coachman, tumbled in breathlessly : 
" What goings-on ! the soldiers have barred our street. 
They are driving the people into the houses at the point 
of the bayonet." 

I thought at once of Aladar Huszar and hoped they 
had not arrested him. His wife received many messages 
not to show herself in the street and naturally we wanted 
to know what had happened ; so by the irony of fate, it 
was I who crept out of the house. 

The people I met spoke excitedly ; everybody was 
coming from the direction of the county hall and nobody 
was going that way. A man said : " Turn back, you 
cannot go there. A new detachment of Terrorists has 
arrived and there is a corpse in the street." 

So the trouble was not about Huszar. I thanked him 
for the warning, but went on. Another running crowd 
was coming towards me. A servant girl leant against the 
wall and began to tie her boot laces. 

" What's happening there ? " 

The girl answered, panting : 

" They have red caps, goodness only knows what they 
are, perhaps French, but they are firing furiously." 

The shooting had stopped now. Two schoolboys were 


peeping out from behind a door : " The Jews have 
taken up arms," they said mysteriously. The street 
leading to the station was absolutely empty and nothing 
was audible but my steps. Men in leather coats were 
standing in groups in front of the county hall and round 
the machine-guns bayonets were glittering in the sun. I 
looked round rather alarmed, this was the first time I had 
seen the place and I had pictured it differently. There 
was no tower on the town hall and not a trace of my 
imaginary arcades or old pump. It was a pity, but the 
disillusionment of a dream is always so. 

As if I had suddenly been perceived the bayonets turned 
towards me and the men in the leather coats shouted 
furiously : " Back ! " Someone looked out of a ground- 
floor window. The soldiers promptly stuck their bayonets 
into it. " Bloody bourgeois, in with your head, or I'll 
knock it off ! " I saw that the Terrorists were coming in 
my direction, so I thought it was time to turn back. 

In the afternoon a detective called. He was one of those 
whom we call ' radishes,' Red outside and White within. 
He inquired after Aladar Huszar and told his wife that the 
red-caps who had been mistaken for Frenchmen were 
hussars back from the Tisza front and that the firing was 
caused by an attempt of the town guards to disarm Comrade 
Szijgyarto. He was saved by the Terrorists, who were 
now masters of the town. Then he looked carefully round : 
" The Lenin Boys have decided to hold out to the last. 
They want to revenge the fall of the Dictatorship and 
intend to plunder to-night. There are a hundred of them. 
They are out to kill and have marked this house. Be 
careful ! " He looked round again. " And please don't 
forget to tell Mr. Huszar when he gets back into office 
that I am not a Communist." 

Hours passed. The news passed like a shudder through 
the streets. Many locked their front doors. I buried my 
papers again and we also hid the money that was in the 
house. We all packed up our most necessary things. As 
evening fell, we could bear our isolation no longer. I must 
try ... I will go towards the station ; perhaps I shall 
hear something by chance. But the streets echoed with 
emptiness and the station was deserted. Only a 
workman was sitting on the weighing machine filling his 

" When is the next train for Budapest ? " 

" There won't be any train," the man answered and 
lit his pipe. Then he closed his eyes. 


I went homewards. New posters were showing on the 
walls : 

" Strict martial law. . . . All gatherings are prohibited 
and those who do not obey the injunctions of the Red 
guards will be shot on the spot. . . . Szijgyarto. County 

Near a paling a short elderly Jew was standing and 
talking to a woman. Quite coolly, obviously so that I 
should hear it, he said : "At half -past five the Rumanians 
entered Budapest." 

I stumbled, though my foot had not hit an obstacle, and 
the blood rushed to my face. The Rumanians ! I could 
hardly grasp it. The Rumanians ! That is the reason, 
then, why our people could not come ! That is the reason 
why the Entente stopped them ! That is why so many of 
us had to die during the long months of waiting ! The 
occupation of Budapest was reserved by the Great Powers 
for the Rumanians so that the city might become their 
prey and they might still act the role of deliverers. 

I felt giddy as I walked home. The blow and the 
humiliation were so great that everything else became 

Budapest is in the hands of the Rumanians ! 

The clock struck nine ; suddenly I heard a violent 
knocking and furious cursing at the end of the corridor, 
and a fat, angry man rolled into the room. He had for- 
gotten to take his hat off, and his pipe was in his mouth. 
It was old Schlegel, a stout old German market gardener 
from the banks of the Ipoly, a fiery Hungarian patriot, who 
within the last few months had helped innumerable refugees 
across the river. 

" Donnerwetter ! The devil, why don't you open your 
door ? I knock the curfew they shoot people down out 

Now that he was in safety, he calmed down and put his 
fat hand on Mrs. Huszar's shoulder : "I just came to tell 
you you need not be anxious. Your husband is in my 
house. We have plenty of arms. If the Communists try 
their slaughtering trick here, I'll come too and shoot them 
like dogs." He produced from his pocket a huge rusty 
revolver and waved it like a mace threateningly above his 
head. " That is all I had to say." 

I stole to the front door to see if all was clear. The new 
moon had already set and there was not a soul in the street. 
I made a sign to the old man and in his gouty way, his 
right leg always foremost, he passed me into the street. 


Without a word he touched his hat and with shaky, baby- 
like steps disappeared at the end of the street between the 
high stalks of the Indian corn. The electric light went 
out. The town moved no longer. 

Our vigil was illuminated by a single candle, and we kept 
looking at the clock. It was said that the Terrorists were 
guarding the streets leading out of town so that nobody 
should be able to escape. Looting was to begin at 
midnight. Even if they did their work quickly it would 
take them half an hour before they came here. This house 
was said to be marked as their third point of attack. 

Somehow I remembered a horror of my childhood. I 
was quite small. My grandmother Tormay was telling us 
stories about her Huguenot ancestors. She told us how,, 
before the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, the men of 
Catherine de Medici had locked all the gates of Paris so 
that none should be able to escape and then marked with 
chalk the houses inhabited by Huguenots. " But that 
happened more than three hundred years ago," my grand- 
mother said, " when people were still wild and cruel." 

The clock struck midnight. 

I asked Mrs. Huszar to escape at once with her children 
into the fields of Indian corn as soon as the shooting started. 
We listened. Nothing . . . only the clock struck again. 
Half-past twelve. My friend was standing near the window 
listening, and I thought how often we had sat up through 
the nights like this during the last few months. 

" Do you remember ? That night when we kept saying,. 
' Now the Czechs have fired ! ' ' Now the Reds ! '" ? 

Our fate has not altered. The Dictatorship of the 
Proletariat is still alive and continues to torture us. 

One o'clock ! 

A hen fluttered up the roof of the house opposite. Under 
the stars silence pervaded the summer night. 

Half-past one ! 

A dog barked, and all round other dogs responded. 

" They are coming ! " 

The anxious moments passed. The dogs were silent 
again and in the cool dawn the first cock crowed, followed 
at intervals by others. It reminded us of clocks striking 
the hour in succession. 

The sun rose. The Terrorists have not come. Who 
can say why ? The St. Bartholomew's night of Balassa- 
gyarmat has not come off. 


August 5th. 

THIS morning we learnt that before starting on their 
plundering expedition the Terrorists found a supply of 
champagne in the cellars of one of the hotels. They got 
so drunk that they could not even stand. So a few hundred 
bottles of champagne saved the town. Comrade Szijgyarto 
was the only man who remained sober. It appears that 
he received an ambiguous message from the Budapest 
Workmen's Government and in the course of the night he 
sent his detectives out to find whither he could escape. 
When his men returned they reported that the roads to 
the villages were guarded by armed men, so he was obliged 
to wait till the Lenin Boys had slept off their drunkenness. 
But meanwhile the old police of Balassagyarmat had 
assembled. Now people are talking of the Terrorists' 
intention to escape by train, but the police will disarm 
them at the station. 

Everybody was out of doors. Here and there a young 
man in a leather coat, with a brand new hat on his head, 
appeared, looking innocently at the crows. 

Mrs. Huszar noticed it too and we looked at each other. 
41 They have changed their garb. ..." 

Suddenly policemen, railwaymen, guards with white 
flowers, officials, women and boys began rushing towards 
the station. The whole street was running and its rush 
was watched from both sides by the posted horrors of the 
Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The Red soldiers, wild 
sailors, half-naked workmen wading in blood, shapeless 
female monsters. Yesterday they were all alive ; now, 
as I passed them quickly they receded on the walls beside 
me as the phantoms of a terrible past. 

A youth came running from the direction of the county 
hall shouting at the top of his voice. 

" The Lenin Boys have escaped ! " While people were 
waiting for them at the station they fled with their booty 
from the other end of the town. People swore and angry 
voices shouted : " Scoundrels ! But they will be caught ! " 

In that moment, as if a chain round the town's chest had 
broken, Balassagyarmat breathed freely again. Men raised 
their heads, spoke loud and freely, many careworn faces 
made an attempt to smile. There was talk and laughter 
under the trees lining the streets. Then a boy started to 
work and others took it up arms were raised, sticks and 
pocket-knives worked feverishly, and in a few minutes, all 
through the town, the posters of the Dictatorship were 
hanging in shreds from the walls. Thick layers of paper 


fell on the pavement, bright coloured scraps covered the 
cobbles, and were trodden in the dust. 
The grape harvest has come in the land of hunchbacks. 

DAYS have passed since the murderers of the country have 
fallen and fate has not yet done justice to them. Reality- 
has achieved nothing, so it remains for imagination to sit 
in trial over the criminals. 

People tell each other that Michael Karolyi and Bela 
Kun have been given up by the Czechs and Austrians and 
that both have been hanged. Between the Danube and 
the Tisza and in Western Hungary the peasants are 
arresting the hiding butchers of the Dictatorship and 
delivering them up to the justice of the crowd, who make 
them eat the posters scratched from the walls. Then they 
are executed by those whose father, mother, husband or 
child they have murdered. 

Then comes one authentic piece of news : Tibor 
Szamuelly has committed suicide. He was the first who 
tried to escape. The Cabinet had not yet resigned when 
he rushed in his car to the aerodrome, hoping to fly to 
Russia. But not one of the pilots would undertake the 
job. Then he started with some of his hangmen on a 
lorry towards Austria but was arrested on the way, and 
while un watched shot himself dead. 

" That is not fair," said a farmer, " he ought to have 
been strung up on a dung-heap." 

" He deserved the torture chamber, not a bullet ! " And 
the people curse the scoundrel furiously for having escaped 
human justice. 

But once again our elation is stifled by sorrow, for we 
are receiving more and more unexpected names of the 
victims of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. In the last 
hours, during its agony, the reign of terror has snatched 
the lives of Oscar Fery and his faithful companions, 
Menkina and Borhy. 

Oscar Fery, the organiser of the Hungarian county 
police, was the heroic soul of the Counter-revolution. He 
was a brave soldier, who, notwithstanding that he was a 
Lieutenant-General, stayed in Budapest during the 
Commune so that in case of need he might be on the spot 
to lead his police. The Dictators were afraid of him 
he did not run away ! A few days ago, he was dragged 



from his home at night and with two faithful officers was 
taken to the Terrorists' barracks. When the fall of the 
Dictatorship was unavoidable, the prisoners were killed in 
the cellars one after the other. Oscar Fery was the last, 
and as he was being taken to the cellar he fell over the 
mutilated bodies of his companions. There was an awful 
storm that night, the roaring of the wind dominated every 
sound. Yet for hours one could hear the screams of the 
victims in the cellar of the barracks. 

The murderers have escaped, but their saviours continue 
to rule over Hungary while the Entente negotiates with 
them. And the Rumanians are in Budapest. 

" One can't go on living like this. We would much 
rather be killed." I have seen weeping men to-day. 

August 7th. 

THEEE are no trains yet from Budapest and the town is 
surrounded by a ring. Nobody can get out of it ; no 
passengers, no newspapers come to us. The Workmen's 
Government has cancelled all the orders of the Dictatorship, 
and no fresh orders have come through yet. Only a part 
of the troops from the Tisza front could be disarmed. The 
soldiers have over-run the country and many are robbing 
and plundering. 

A doubtful rumour spread yesterday evening. It was 
said that an opposition Government had been formed in 
the capital. Is it true ? Or, as so often before, is it only 
an invention arising from our hope ? Yet hope is rising. 

" You sit down and write an article in remembrance of 
Balassagyarmat," said Aladar Huszar. " The old patriotic 
newspaper has reappeared." 

For months I have been writing only for my own self 
and the idea of publicity came disturbingly to me, as if 
someone were watching my pen over my shoulder. 
" Resurrection ..." I chose that title for my article and 
I signed my name the first time since the events of 

As I wrote it many thoughts passed through my mind. 
The name of Elisabeth Foldvary, my companion and 
protector during the sad days, has fallen off me as a cloak. 
I return it to those who have a right to it and I hope they 
will forgive me for using it. I give it back but not with 
a light heart. The cloak, worn for so many months, has 
practically grown on me, and refuses to part from me. 


I must seek a road that leads me back to my own self. 
And while seeking it, two individualities collided within 
me : my own, which has to fight and work, and the other, 
the poor, tired, shy, retiring one, which has realised the 
pleasures of obscurity and the peace of quiet irresponsibility. 
Suddenly I feel frightened. Will that which life has left 
me be enough for what life expects from me ? 

The door flew open as if torn by a hurricane : 

" Come, come, all of you ! " shouted Aladdr Huszar, 
holding a paper in his hand. " Great news. A 
proclamation ..." 

" Why ? What ? Whence ? " 

He read, deeply moved : 

" To the Hungarian people ! Inspired by the everlasting 
love with which I cling to the Hungarian people, looking 
back on the sufferings we have gone through together in 
the last five years, I give way to the request addressed to 
me from all quarters and will attempt to solve the present 
impossible situation ! " 

We no longer asked any questions, we knew who it was 
who for five years had suffered in common with us, he who 
loves the Hungarian people with everlasting devotion, the 
people forsaken by everybody, whom nobody loves. The 
Archduke Joseph ! 

After all the hatred everlasting love ! A tear ran 
down my cheek ; I did not wipe it away but left it there 
to wash off the traces of so many sufferings. 

A Government has been formed and its members are 
Hungarians, not foreigners. Stephen Friedrich is Prime 

There was a time when Friedrich had been misled by 
Michael Kdrolyi. He took his part in the October 
Revolution though in the course of the winter he had 
opened negotiations with the Counter-revolution. He too 
is responsible for those events, but he is the only one who 
has shown contrition and has redeemed his fault. After 
the closing of the darkest and most humiliating pages of 
Hungary's history he has written his name on the first 
clean page. 

The sun was shining and on the roof of the county hall 
the red, white and green flag was being hoisted. The eyes 
of a whole town filled with tears. 

On October 31st the hands of traitors drew the flag into 
the Revolution as a snare. Then, in tragical disgrace, it 
was made to float over the country which its enemies 
occupied and tore to pieces. The sight of it became a 


torture, my soul revolted against it, and I turned away 
from it that I might not see it ; it became unclean and was 
besmirched. And when everything that it stood for had 
been crushed and dissipated, they tore it down with derision. 
From that moment it became ours again : it was persecuted 
like ourselves. It was sentenced to death, stood before the 
Revolutionary Tribunals ; prison and the gallows were in 
store for those who harboured it. The flag became a 
martyr. Because innocent Hungarian blood has been 
shed for it, because it has been consecrated with blood, and 
blood has brought it back to us and raised it above us 
God have mercy on him who dares to touch it ! Its 
tricoloured folds are now unfurled under the sky. And 
beneath it, on the walls of Balassagyarmat, there stand 
the letters of the Palatine's message : "... with ever- 
lasting love ..." 

Peasants, gentlemen, workmen, and Red soldiers of 
yesterday gathered in front of the proclamation and read it, 
deeply moved. I stood there too. The sun had set and 
yet it seemed that some mysterious afterglow lit up the 
faces. . 

August 8th. 

THE day has come. The terrible spell is broken. 
Hungary again takes her fate in her own hands. And 
to-day I am to see my mother again. 

Life returns to the groove whence it was torn some 
months ago. Through the breach in the walls which have 
encircled us the horizon is widening, the first train to the 
capital is starting. And I take leave of the house which 
has given me a home, I take leave of the people, the 
children, of my little corner near the window and of 
the shady palings of the back garden, of everything that 
has been kind to me in my misfortune, of all the 
unforgettable things. . . . 

Through the windows of the train the station buildings 
were already receding. Then the last little houses dis- 
appeared, the waters of the Ipoly, the poplars on its banks, 
the glittering heights of the distant Fatra. Then everything 
became small and distant. The green trees gathered close 
together, the roofs sank in the distance, and the flag above 
the county hall seemed to rise higher and higher. Its staff 
had become invisible, only its folds were floating like a 
huge, tricoloured bird which had stopped in its flight 


above the town. And winding like a thread of silver 
between its swampy meadows the Ipoly kept me company 
for a time. Then parched fields came towards me, a sad, 
dry country. In the fields of Indian corn the empty, 
straggling stalks rustled in the wind raised by the train. 
And this rattling noise is heard everywhere in Hungary 
to-day, for everything has been burnt. 

Somebody in our compartment whispered : "It was 
for to-day that Szdmuelly had fixed the massacre of the 
bourgeoisie. ... It was to have begun in Budapest. 
Then all over the country. . . . Lenin and Trotsky had 
ordered a stricter Dictatorship." 

' Lenin speaking ! ' The awful words dissolved like 
rotten things in the air. He speaks no longer here ! Nor 
does Szdmuelly ; but there are voices from gallows-pits, 
from the graves and from the unburied dead. 

The track curved, and from the direction of the old 
castle of Nogrdd we could see a storm racing towards us. 
In a few moments the sky was black. The train threw 
itself against the hurricane, then was compelled to stop. 
The heavy carriages trembled ; the trees slanted and the 
dust rose in dark clouds. The wind moaned like a monster 
organ. Such a wind preceded the world-war. To prevent 
premonitions I said quickly : " If we stick to each other 
and do not forget. ... In one year, in two, or ten or 
even a hundred years, Hungary will arise again, for there 
is a little speck of earth which belongs to us. Six foot of 
ground at the foot of Golgotha was enough to bring the 
Resurrection. ..." 

The storm passed to the west and the spires and cupolas 
of chastened Budapest appeared again in sunshine above 
the plain and the hills. 

I took leave of my companions at the station and then 
a carriage carried me off. I was alone. Flags were floating 
above me on all the houses curious flags, that had been cut 
in half when the terror was requisitioning them for an 
auto-da-fe*. On the walls the orders of Rumanian generals 
were posted on white paper. Like ambulant ruins, the 
electric trams with smashed windows crawled along their 
rails. The shops were still closed and between the blinds 
one could see that the windows were empty. The dusty 
glass showed traces of removed posters. After the 
robberies of Communism, life had not yet returned to the 
beggared town. 

With steel helmets and fixed bayonets a Rumanian 
patrol came round a corner. The blood rushed to my 


face, and then I noticed something else : in ramshackle 
cabs Rumanian officers with painted cheeks and rouged lips 
were sitting with young Jewesses. How quickly they have 
made friends ! And how happy they seem ! 

A motor lorry was standing in front of a house from 
which Rumanian soldiers were removing typewriters. War 
contribution everything is war contribution. With 
mighty swings they threw the delicate machines one on 
top of the other. A thud, a crash that was the end of 
them ! Rumania is acquiring the tools of Western culture. 
But instead of broken typewriters it might have acquired 
capital in the shape of hundreds of years of Hungarian 
gratitude, if it had been content to leave the little that 
was left to a ransacked people. 

Over the bridge flags were playing in the breeze. 
Suddenly I saw them no more. There, above the hill, 
sadly, stood the royal castle. Opposite, on the shore of 
Pest, the House of Parliament was standing with its 
darkened stones. The building seemed quite young a 
year ago. How suddenly it has aged, how tragic have 
become its bloodstained cellars, its bullet-marked walls, 
the square where the rabble watched the executions, the 
stairs leading to the river ! 

On the side of Buda the flags were floating too, on the 
bridgehead, on the houses. Towards the end of the town 
the palings showed now and then the traces of torn-off 
red posters. 

Then I came in sight of our hills. But since I had last 
been here the forest has disappeared. The Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat has exterminated that too. 

Now I was going up the hill ; nobody was waiting for 
me, nobody knew I was coming. All the way along I was 
smiling to myself. 

The high, double roof of our house showed up 
bright against the blue sky. The gate was open, the 
pebbles crunched under my feet, I opened the front 

A white wall, an oaken staircase, flowers on my mother's 
table. And I stood there, irresolute. Steps were approach- 
ing, peculiar steps, as if one foot were slightly dragged 
behind the other. Blessed steps, beloved steps, I ran to 
meet them ! My mother stood in the door. 

I felt that I turned pale. Already the flame was dying 
within her and she was preparing for the long journey. 
But I will keep her back, she must stay with me. She 
opened her arms and I felt her, who had always been taller 


than I, so small, so elusive, against my heart. I will keep 
her back, will make her stay. 

And in her arms my outlawry died. I was home again. 




Councillor in the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Justice. 

LENIN'S well-known axiom to the effect that in revolutions 
for every honest-minded man (unfortunately) are to be 
found hundreds of criminals, can scarcely be applied to 
Hungarian Bolshevism, for among the notorious exponents 
of the same even the lamp of Diogenes would hardly have 
enabled us to detect one honest-minded man. Criminalists 
of long standing who lived through the horrors of the Red 
Regime in Hungary, which lasted from March 21 to the 
end of July, 1919, could testify, even without the decisions 
of the court of laws, that the leading spirits of the ' Soviet 
Republic ' (with the exception of a few fanatics) consisted 
of common criminals, to the greater part of whom might 
be applied with perfect aptness the definition of Anatole 
France, * encore bete et deja un homme.' 

Every revolution has its idealistic champions, its 
enthusiasts who inflame the masses with a fiery passion 
and are themselves ready to endure all the suffering of 
Calvary in the service of the creed which they profess. 
Fanatic apostles of high aims may be sympathetic even in 
their fatal errors ; and there is always something sublimely 
tragical in their fall. Who would doubt the unselfish 
enthusiasm of Camille Desmoulins, of Jourde, or of Louise 
Michel for their ideals, for which they were content to suffer 
and die ? 

* The Publishers of this volume are greatly indebted to Dr. Oscar 
Szollosy and to the Editor of The Anglo -Hungarian Review for 
permission to include this account of some of the chief actors in 
The Terror. 



In our moral judgment we distinguish between political 
and other criminals ; a similar sharp distinction is made by 
the general conceptions of criminal law, for political 
agitators are liable to confinement as first-class mis- 
demeanants, while thieves are imprisoned in common jails 
and murderers are condemned to the gallows. 

Revolution, as a movement of the masses aiming at the 
violent overthrow of the existing system of law, from the 
standpoint of criminal law is a single cumulative criminal 
act ; committed against the community as a whole, a 
movement called into being by the co-operation of indivi- 
duals grouped into a mass in which individual actions are 
merely insignificant episodes. The masses, however, cannot 
be called to account under the criminal law ; the judgment 
on them is pronounced by the nation and by history. The 
work of the judge is to investigate the individual guilt 
of the persons taking part ; in this manner he finds himself 
dealing with numberless varieties of revolutionary acts 
from agitation, riot, through destruction of movable 
property and numerous other offences, to murder, the 
series comprising practically all the acts known to the 
criminal code. But of all these offences the only ones 
which may be classified as political crimes are those unlawful 
attacks against the aims of the State and the realization 
of the same which are of a political character by virtue 
alike of their objects and their nature (e.g., incitement 
against the constitution or against the binding force of the 
law) ; in cases where only the tendency or motive is of 
such character, while the means employed are base, as is 
true of most revolutionary offences, for without violence 
and dangerous threats there can be no revolution, we are 
confronted, not with political, but with common crimes. 
The incendiaries of Paris who set fire to the Tuilleries were 
common criminals, though they acted from a political 

And those who, clothing themselves in the red cloak of 
revolution, with Phrygian caps on their heads, * work for 
their own enrichment,' are not revolutionists at all 
merely criminals. 

Bolshevism, the wildest form of Marxian Communism, 
which annihilates capital under the pretext of making pro- 
perty public, destroys or distributes among its own votaries 
the private possessions of others, abolishes the right of 
choice of labour, subverts the thousand-years old system 
of production and, in order to effect all these things, ruins 
all the institutions of an historic State, concentrates the 


proletarians in the ' council ' system with the object of 
exercising dictatorial power over the bourgeois classes, 
persecutes religion and national sentiment, places physical 
labour above intellectual work, transforms the common 
seaman into an admiral, employing the real admiral as a 
scavenger, this suppression of the common liberties, more 
tyrannical in character than the despotism of any Caesar, 
could not have maintained itself for even the briefest space 
of time without resorting to the means of extreme terrorism. 
Therefore, having disarmed the bourgeois classes, and 
rendering them defenceless, it placed King Mob on the 
throne and used the same to keep the other members of 
the community in constant fear and trembling. 

In our country the Dictatorship of the Proletariat 
was nothing more or less than an organized rule of the 
mob, under the demoniacal direction of Belial, the spirit 
of destruction of Jewish mythology. 

But what were the elements composing this mob ? 

So long as the State power is the expression of the common 
will of the people and has at its command disciplined 
physical force, the authority of the State and the moral 
constraint involved suffice to hold in check those criminal 
propensities and hidden instincts which are latent in the 
masses. Under such circumstances the expression ' mob ' 
is restricted to vagabonds, professional criminals, the 
denizens of the common haunts of crime who are a public 
danger. But, the moment the rule of law is overthrown 
^tnd the respect for authority vanishes, the lid of the box 
of Pandora flies open, and the criminal or unhealthy 
instincts hitherto kept in check rush unimpeded from their 
secret hiding-places, and the mob is recruited by men who 
have so far been peaceful and industrious day-labourers, 
factory hands, students, tradesmen or officials. And those 
degenerate individuals who are criminally inclined are only 
too eager to join any movement which enables them to give 
free vent to their inclinations. During the opening weeks 
of the Bolshevik regime Budapest became the gathering- 
place of international adventurers flocking thither from 
all quarters of the globe, ' Spartacus ' Germans, Russian 
Jews, Austrian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, and Italian com- 
munists hastened thither in the hope of finding rich booty 
under the aegis of the Soviet Government. At a mass 
meeting held in the suburbs, speeches were delivered by 
demagogues in six different languages. 

But more foreign still to this country than the rabble of 
strangers were the leading People's Commissioners them- 


selves, though all were born on Hungarian soil. They 
hated, not merely the bourgeoisie, but the whole Hungarian 
people, with whom they never had anything in common. 
Their hatred was most violent against the agricultural 
peasant class, which forms the bulk of the nation, whereas 
the industrial labourers represent barely more than five 
per cent, of the whole population. While at Petrograd, 
in the service of Lenin, Bela Kun had had Hungarian 
prisoners of war, officers and privates alike, shot en masse 
with machine-guns, for refusing to join the Russian Red 

When the future People's Commissioners, laden with 
Russian gold, emerged from obscurity, they pushed into 
the background the former leaders of the working classes. 
In their incendiary speeches and newspaper articles could 
be heard the hissing of the vipers of hatred. The terrible 
trials of the four and a hah* years' war, its demoralising 
effect, the exorbitant demands advanced after the defeat 
by soldiers embittered by battle and grown accustomed 
to a distaste for a life of work, the unemployment caused 
by the shortage of raw materials, and the discontent of 
the industrial labourers that had long been lurking beneath 
the surface, all these circumstances in a few months 
ripened the seeds sown by the wicked and unscrupulous 
agitation of the adventurers. Their adherents consisted, 
besides a few educated persons of disordered intellect* or 
greedy of profit, of a small fraction of socialist labourers 
(who terrorized the rest of then 1 fellows) and the mob 
described above. 

Were these men really capable of believing in the 
incredible, of believing that the results of a social evolution 
of a thousand years could be changed in a single night by 
the help of bands of terrorists ? Did they believe that 
they could violate human nature by means of their 
peremptory ' orders ' (edicts), or that the world-revolution 

* The People's Commissioner for Public Education, George 
Lukacs, was the son of a wealthy banker, and was persuaded to join 
the Communists by the crack-brained daughter of an extremely 
rich Budapest solicitor, who subsequently assisted Bela Kun and 
his associates to counterfeit bank-notes, till finally she was thrashed 
publicly (in the street) with a hunting crop by an embittered 
* bourgeois.' A portrait of Lukacs is reproduced at page 106 of 
this volume. 

A certain Ministerial Councillor, Stephen Laday, once declared 
emphatically to the writer of this article that Communism might 
be very pretty in theory, but was, in his opinion, impossible in 
practice. Two months later Laday became a Bolshevik People's 


with which, as an inevitable certainty, they constantly 
sought to cajole their partisans would really hasten to their 
assistance ? Did they honestly desire to ' redeem ' the 
working classes, which, in fact, they ruined, with their 
devilish system ? And is the bestiality of their instruments 
the only charge that can be laid at their doors ? There 
were evidently some men among them who cherished such 
a belief and such a desire ; but it would be extremely 
difficult to draw such a conclusion from the nature of their 
deeds. On the contrary, it is certain that almost all of 
them were actuated by the hope of personal aggrandize- 
ment, by a morbid and unbridled desire of omnipotence ; 
they desired to seize for themselves everything that seemed 
of any value to them in the country and to destroy every- 
thing that stood in their way. An exceptionally favourable 
opportunity for the realization of their aims was afforded 
them by the desperate situation of the country and the 
lethargy of the exhausted bourgeois classes ; and to this 
end they hastened to exploit the infatuation of the masses. 
Pre-eminent among them, alike for ability and for skill 
in the application of Bolshevik ideology, was the People's 
Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, the keen-witted, astute 
and extraordinarily active Bela Kun,* who remained to 
the end the soul and leading spirit of the Red regime. 
Already during his activity as a provincial journalist, this 
lizard-faced, well-fed agitator had shown the greatest 
contempt for the morals in general acceptance among the 
middle classes and had consequently been only too ready 
to sell his pen as a means to hush up delinquencies com- 
mitted by the bourgeoisie. He had been compelled, in 
consequence of petty embezzlements committed at the 
expense of the proletariat, to resign his post in the office 
of the Kolozsvar Workmen's Insurance Institute. Earlier 
in life he had been a votary of night orgies ; and during 
the ' lean ' days of the Soviet regime he did not abstain 
from sumptuous banqueting, while everywhere the masses 
intoned the refrain of the Internationale, ' Rise, starving 
proletarians, rise ! ' As People's Commissioner, he took 
up his quarters in a fashionable hotel on the Danube 
Embankment, under the protection of a body-guard armed 
with hand grenades. His inflammatory speeches, in which 
he employed all the hackneyed casuistry of the demagogue, 
at first exercised a suggestive influence even on the more 
sober-minded section of the working classes. He preached 

* For a portrait of B6la Kun, see vol. i., p. 160 of this work, where 
a further account of him is given. 




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the necessity of an inexorable application of the dictator- 
ship ; and he himself ignoring his own revolutionary 
tribunals gave orders for the perpetration of secret 
murders committed in the dark. It was in this way that 
he got terrorists to kill two Ukranian officers who had come 
here to repatriate Russian prisoners of war and whom he 
suspected of implication in a plot against his person. In 
a similarly secret manner he provided for the murder, 
among others, of Francis Mildner, captain in the Artillery, 
for having (as he, Bela Kun, declared) encouraged the 
pupils of the Ludovica Military Academy to ' stick to 
their guns ' during the Counter-revolution in the month 
of June. Moreover, he gave Joseph Cserny, the formidable 
' commander ' of the * terror-troops,' a general authorization 
for the perpetration, by means of his underlings, of similar 

The only one of his associates who surpassed him in 
bloodthirsty cruelty was Tiberius Szamuelly,* a horrible 
figure who was the object of universal abhorrence, even 
among the working classes, a man who experienced a 
perverse enjoyment in the destruction of human life. 
This degenerate successor of Marat and Hebert was a 
sharp-featured, narrow-chested Jewish youth of low 
stature ; according to medical men who knew him, his 
blood was tainted, and he was consumptive. Prior to 
the war, he acted as reporter without talent indeed, but 
never without a monocle to a clerical news agency ; 
during the war he was an officer in the reserve ; and, at 
the age of twenty-eight, his hatred of mankind and his 
experiences in Russia qualified him for appointment as 
a People's Commissioner. He was a type of humanity of 
the lowest kind, degenerate alike physically and mentally. 
In the Governing Council he came into conflict even with 
Bela Kun, because the latter declined to comply with his 
delightful suggestion that the mob should be allowed at 
least three days' free pillage immediately after the pro- 
clamation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was 
he who, at the meeting of the Budapest Workers' Council, 
raised the cry of ' Death to the Bourgeoisie ! ' and the 
following day the seething crowd swarming along the 
boulevards echoed his cry ' Death to the Bourgeoisie ! ' 
In April he was authorized to exercise in person, in the rear 
of the Red Army and in places where there was any counter- 
revolutionary movement, the rights of the revolutionary 

* See pp. 9698. 


courts-martial. And, indeed, he accomplished his task 
.thoroughly ; those whom the members of the local 
Workers' Councils branded as * white ' he had hanged, 
without even the formality of a trial, on the nearest pear 
or apple tree. As a rule, his manner of sentencing to 
death the victims brought before him, was by a motion 
of the hand or by secret ' cue ' ; though sometimes he 
pronounced formal sentence in the words ' Step under 
the tree ! ' These words were enough for his hangmen. 
He condemned to death persons ' taken up ' at random 
against whom there was not even the shadow of a 
suspicion, mostly for the simple reason that they belonged 
to the detested peasant class. At Duna-pataj he ordered 
his underlings to bury a wounded peasant, whom he saw 
being treated by a surgeon, alive in a grave together with 
the dead. At Sopron-Kovesd he had an old railway 
booking-clerk of the name of Schmidt hanged, and com- 
pelled his son to watch the dying father's convulsions for 
twenty-five minutes, and then hanged the son on the same 
tree by the side of the father. A short time previous to 
the overthrow of the Commune, he endeavoured to establish 
a military dictatorship ; and his particular adherents had 
drafted a list of the State officials, police officers and 
aristocrats who had been selected as doomed to be 
slaughtered within three short hours. 

A dwarf in comparison with this monster was the red- 
handed, black-souled Joseph Pogany,* one of Count 
Stephen Tisza's murderers and the demon of demoralization 
of our former army. From being a socialist journalist, he 
became President of the Soldiers' Council, later People's 
Commissioner for Public Education, and finally Commander 
of an Army Corps. He was the son of a Jewish ' corpse - 
washer ' of the name of Schwarz ; and, though endowed 
with but mediocre ability, was incredibly ambitious. 
In his maniacal endeavour for self-assertion, the comic 
elements were overshadowed only by the depravity of the 
means he employed. Grotesquely adipose in figure, he 
loved to ape the poses and gestures of Napoleon, and 
revelled greedily in the delights of power. He travelled 
without exception in a Pullman car or in an automobile ; 
and at one of the health resorts on the shores of Lake 
Balaton, when the misery of the country was at its height, 
he arranged horse -races in which his Red Hussars took 
part, for his own distraction and hi his own honour. At 

* See vol. i., p. 70. 


the first news of the approach of the Rumanian army, he 
warned the entire population of Budapest that they must 
consider themselves as the hostages of the Soviet Republic. 
(It was at the same juncture that ' Comrade ' Surek, 
inspired with noble zeal, proposed at the Central Soviet 
meeting that all hostages should be butchered at once and 
mountains raised of bourgeois corpses !) 

Hardly had the men of the Soviet seized the reins of 
government, when the homo delinquens commenced his revels ; 
every base and filthy impulse was let loose, greed and 
bloodthirstiness held a bacchanalian feast. When the old 
order was restored it was found necessary, as a result of the 
denunciations received, to institute proceedings in no less 
than 15,000 criminal cases ; and the number of persona 
kept in detention by the Public Prosecutor in the metropolis 
alone exceeded three thousand : on the occasion of their 
arrest, almost all of the latter were found to be in the 
possession of stolen money or other stolen valuables. 

Typical criminals were placed in possession of all our 
public institutions, with the exception of the jails and con- 
vict prisons, from which, indeed, individuals apparently 
harmless to the proletariat State were released en masse 
(those discharged from the convict prison at Sopron, for 
instance, included a gipsy condemned for robbery and 
murder) to make room for respectable men, hostages and 
political prisoners. The former convicts were wanted to 
recruit the ranks of the ' political terror-troops ' and the 
Red Guard, as well as to furnish functionaries to do the 
more important work of the administration of justice.* 

Hitherto it had been the sole ambition of journeymen in 
general to be able to set up for themselves as independent 
masters of their respective trades : now, they were 
informed by the Voros Ujsag (Red Journal) that masters 
were without exception dishonest extortioners, since they 
employed workmen for wages : so they came to despise, 
not only their masters, but then* handicrafts, too, and 
ended by joining the Red Guards or some other band of 

During four months and a hah* all Budapest wore the 
appearance of one vast condemned cell. The night visits,- 
of savage Red Guards and drunken terrorists, domiciliary 

* A story which is far from improbable, though it certainly 
sounds like a popular anecdote, runs to the effect that, at a trial 
of one of the proletarian tribunals, in answer to the ' Public 
Prosecutor's ' question : ' Where did you take the stolen articles ? * 
one of the persons accused of theft said, ' To the woman in Budafok 
to whom you and I took that bicycle last year ! ' 


visits (the most convenient pretexts for the ' official organs ' 
to plunder flats), the ' commandeering ' of food and 
dwellings, compulsory recruiting, the taking of hostages, 
the arrest and torture of innocent persons, and the glaring 
posters with their gruesome threats, kept the inhabitants, 
stripped of everything and nearly all suffering the pangs 
of hunger, in a state of nervous tension, while suicides of 
embittered fathers were every-day occurrences. Those 
who had hitherto been held in check by the authorities, 
had now become the authorities themselves ; and, to the 
citizen accustomed to a disciplined mode of life, nothing 
can be more disheartening than the knowledge that the 
' authorities ' are the greatest enemies to the security of 
life and property. 

When, under the pretext of ' nationalization,' the Soviet 
authorities proceeded vigorously to confiscate property, 
thirty-four banks were occupied by armed forces and placed 
under Communist management. The entire stock of money 
and securities was seized, as well as the jewellery, gold 
coins and foreign currency deposited in the safes. From 
the Austro- Hungarian Bank (Budapest branch) two hundred 
million crowns were taken and conveyed to Vienna for 
propaganda purposes ; while foreign currency of the 
value of at least forty to fifty million crowns was distributed 
among the immediate adherents (male and female alike) 
of the new masters of the country. Of the foreign securities 
seized several millions' worth were sold ; while the Sacred 
Crown, the most jealously guarded of all the nation's 
treasures, was offered for sale. (The crown adorning the 
dome of the royal palace was covered with a red cap.) 

The salaries of the persons employed by the new 
bureaucracy and the wages of the workmen were raised 
so enormously that there could be no doubt as to the 
probability of a speedy bankruptcy of the State. A prison 
warder was paid wages amounting to about 30,000 crowns 
a year. The Exchequer was soon empty ; and there was 
a shortage of the means of payment. At this juncture 
Julius Lengyel, People's Commissioner for Finance, declared 
to a meeting of the * trustees ' ( Vertrauensmdnner) of the 
officials of the bank of issue that ' there are excellent foreign 
and native forgers able to make perfect counterfeits of the 
Austro-Hungarian banknotes.' The services of these 
* excellent forgers ' were actually requisitioned ; and they 
made an enormous number of forged Austro-Hungarian 
banknotes, of 200, 25 and 2 crowns respectively. Thus 
the workers' delight at the rise of wages became converted 



(For an account of these Terrorists, see the APPENDIX.) 


into bitter disappointment, for they were paid in forged 
notes which possessed a very trifling purchasing value. 
The country folk refused to have anything to do with 
money forged under the aegis of ' authorities ' whose term 
of power was so problematical, and in consequence ceased 
to supply the capital with food. 

Meanwhile Terror was working at high pressure, not 
sparing even the better-disposed among the working 
classes. Its appointed instruments the Detective Depart- 
ment of the Ministry of the Interior, with the blood-thirsty 
Otto Korvin-Klein at its head, the Revolutionary Tribunals, 
and the Political ' Terror Troops ' never for a single 
moment lapsed from the level of their respective callings. 

Otto Korvin (Klein), a hunch-backed, clean-shaven 
gnome of twenty-five years, was a well-paid official of a 
joint-stock company when he was called upon to join the 
ranks of the red, blood-stained knights of hate. It was he 
who issued orders for the seizure as hostages of the notabili- 
ties of our public life, politicians, judges, bishops, writers, 
manufacturers, generals ; he who was known as ornamentum 
civitatis, the former Prime Minister, Alexander Wekerle, 
a man of seventy years, the former Ministers of War 
(Home Defence), Hazay and Szurmay, the Speaker 
(President of the House of Deputies), Charles Szasz, the 
most distinguished of Hungarian publicists, Eugene Rakosi, 
Bishop Mikes, etc., all these men now became the inmates 
of a common jail. But in many cases, the instruments of 
Korvin 's vindictiveness the terrorists and detectives 
did not even trouble to convey the hostages to prison ; 
dragging the victims out of bed and away from then 1 homes 
in the dead of night, they simply murdered them and 
robbed their corpses. Alexander Hollan, Secretary of 
State, and his aged father were shot on the Chain Bridge, 
their bodies, bound together, being thrown into the Danube. 
Louis Navay, a former speaker of the Lower House, 
together with his younger brother and a local magistrate, 
while being conveyed from Mako to Budapest, were dragged 
from the train at Felegyhaza, placed on the brink of a 
grave dug in the neighbourhood of the railway-station, and 
then shot and stabbed with bayonets until they were dead ; 
on the same occasion, the Soviet mercenaries, as they 
proceeded on their journey, shot three more hostages in 
the train and seven at the railway-station of Hodmezo- 

Maybe these unfortunate men had a happier fate than 
was that of some of the political prisoners whom Korvin 



subjected to his diabolical inquisition in the cellars beneath 
the Houses of Parliament. What was enacted there, in 
defiance of all human feeling, surpasses the utmost limits 
of bestiality. Some had the soles of their feet beaten with 
rubber sticks or their bare backs belaboured with belts or 
straps ; others had their ribs or arms broken, or tacks 
driven in under their nails ; some were compelled to drink 
three litres of water at a draught, or had rulers stuck down 
their throats, to force them to make disclosures. By the 
side of a certain lieutenant-colonel Korvin placed a guard 
with a hand grenade, ordering the latter to kill the unfor- 
tunate officer, if he dared to open his mouth ; another 
prisoner he threatened to shoot unless he spoke immediately. 
A lieutenant was found wearing on his breast an image of 
the Blessed Virgin : ' hang the thing up as an ornament 
for his gallows,' shrieked the inquisitor in a paroxysm of 
fury. A prisoner named Balogh, who refused to confess, 
was dragged by the terrorists his hands tied behind his 
back up to the scaffold erected in the cellar and left 
hanging there with the blood running from his mouth and 
nose. For intimidation, the inquisitors showed the accused 
persons a heap of noses, tongues, and ears that had been cut 
off corpses. One of Korvin's hangmen, a Russian Jew, 
with a limp, and curly hair, named Gerson Itzkovitch, 
laughingly vaunted that he was in the habit of gouging 
out a bourgeois' eye with a single turn of his Cossack knife, 
' like the stone from a peach.' Those who were tortured 
to death in the course of the inquisition were generally 
thrown from the stairs of the Houses of Parliament into 
the Danube ; the actor Andrew Szocs was thrown down 
from the third floor into the courtyard, where his body was 
left to decompose for several days. 

In order to prevent the wailings and death -cries of the 
victims being heard by outsiders, a grinning chauffeur was 
told off to keep the motor of his automobile incessantly 
whirring in front of the ventilation holes of the cellars. 

These frenzied blood-orgies betray all the symptoms 
characteristic of that perversion which manifests itself in 
a perverse and fiendish delight in the shedding of blood, 
in shrieks of pain, and in maddening tortures. 

Korvin's female typist, Manci Hollos, endeavoured to 
comfort an imprisoned lawyer in these terms : ' You will 
make a handsome corpse ; it will be a pleasure to gouge 
out your eyes and kick your broken ribs.' 

Hysterical women, too, were given a plentiful scope of 
activity by Bolshevism, which induced women to wear 


short hair, in order to be more like men, whereas the men 
wore long, flowing hair, after the Russian fashion. 
Elizabeth Sipos, the notorious agitator with whom Korvin 
contracted a marriage during the Dictatorship, devoted 
her energy to spying out the counter-revolutionary plans 
of army officers. Margaret Romanyi agitated in favour 
of Bolshevism among the telephone operators ; while 
Gizella Adler, in her capacity as political commissary, 
armed with a revolver, herself delivered to the custody of 
the Red Guards such persons as seemed to her to be 
suspicious. Mrs. John Peczkai,* a woman doctor, took 
pleasure in assisting at executions ; her hobby was to be 
allowed to determine whether death had ensued, and she 
showed a particular eagerness in making inquiries as to 
when and where the next execution was to take place. 
Ethel Sari (a notorious pickpocket, who later on became 
Secretary to the People's Commissioner, Vago) took part, 
with her husband, the gorilla-headed terrorist, Andrew 
Annocskay, in the butchery at Maka, in the meantime 
methodically pursuing her usual occupation of professional 

Those whom Korvin's accomplices or the Red Guards 
brought direct to the revolutionary tribunals, might have 
congratulated themselves on at least escaping the cellars of 
torture of the Houses of Parliament ; but mutilation, 
starvation and intimidation were the order of the day in 
the prisons. In the prison attached to the Budapest 
Central Court of Justice alone 1,461 persons were held in 
custody, persons arrested as politicians, and not charged 
with any criminal act. The tribunals, composed of 
untrained individuals (industrial labourers and persons 
' with a past '), were not bound by any regular rules of 
procedure and passed sentence with a rapidity of courts - 
martial under military law. The Budapest Revolutionary 
Tribunal sentenced to ' confinement in an asylum ' an 
accused person who evinced symptoms of dull-wittedness ; 
and against this sentence there was no appeal. 

The Governing Council appointed the lawyer Dr. Eugene 
Laszlo political commissary for all the revolutionary 
tribunals. This man was the offspring of a marriage 
between cousins, and his mother died insane ; his fellow- 
lawyers and journalists (for previously he had been law 
reporter to a daily with a wide circulation) spoke of him 
among themselves as ' mad Laszlo ' ; yet he was one of 
the most fanatical of Communists and in his degeneracy 
* A photograph of her is reproduced at p. 140 of this volume. 


was quite the equal of the more calculating Korvin and the 
more ignorant Szamuelly. These qualities were amply 
sufficient to fit him to act as super-reviser of all judgments 
passed by the revolutionary tribunals ; and his legal 
training enabled him to do his work by simply ordering 
the members of the tribunals to pass the sentences dictated 
by him. In the case of Dr. John Stenczel and his associates, 
who were charged with being counter-revolutionists, acting 
in touching agreement with Otto Korvin, Laszlo conferred 
the dignity of judge on Joseph Cserny, directing him to 
sentence all the accused but one to death. As President 
of the Tribunal, after ten minutes' hearing of the case, 
which was a mere parody of the administration of justice, 
Cserny pronounced sentence of death on eight men and 
then, by way of motive for the sentence, whistled between 
his fingers ; of the men condemned in this manner, three 
were shot, while the others were graciously reprieved and 
sentenced to imprisonment for life. (One member of this 
tribunal was Francis Gombos, a worker in the cartridge 
factory, who was known to be ever ready to agree to a 
sentence of death ; he ' despised human life,' though, it 
would appear only in the case of others, for, when at a 
later date the Court of Law sentenced him to death, he 
broke into sobs and implored mercy.) 

This same Eugene Laszlo, who, during the Dictatorship 
of the Proletariat, had no fewer than four flats in Budapest, 
was far less severe in respect of the standard of morality 
applied to his own actions, for as appears from the 
evidence of his own officials he stole from the Budapest 
mansion of Baron Ulmann clothes, silver cigarette-cases 
and other portable articles, which he then sold at a high 
price, Joseph Cserny having bought from him, among 
other things, caps for 100 crowns. These individuals also 
made a practice of arresting as hostages rich merchants, 
whom they then released from prison as a proof of their 
magnanimity in return for money and rice ! 

A quite different type one might almost say a true 
type of Apache was ' Comrade ' Joseph Cserny,* the 
broad-shouldered and big-limbed sailor whom B61a Kiin 
himself entrusted with the organisation of the ' terror 
troops.' He was of a very powerful physique and 
possessed remarkable muscular strength ; and he was 
possessed with the conviction that in the general upheaval 
he was called upon to play a pre-eminent part and must 

* See also pp. 185186. 


to that end be a ruthless murderer. Not even Bela Kun 
himself was suffered to contradict him on this point ; and 
when, under the pressure of the Entente Missions and of 
the workers, it was proposed to disband his troops, he 
forthwith conceived the idea of offering his services to the 
counter-revolutionists. From among the volunteers who 
applied to him for ' a job ' these persons were the very 
scum of society he selected men of the lowest repute, 
dare-devils * with a past ' ready to perpetrate any crime, 
the criminals known as ' Lenin Boys,' more than 400 in 
number, whose special vocation was to stifle any counter- 
revolutionary movement. What they really had to do, 
however, was not to take part in any open fighting or in 
regular military operations, but to inspire terror in districts 
where any counter-revolutionary movement had already 
been suppressed by the Red Army, by murder, torture 
and pillaging. We know now, from the sentences of the 
courts of law, that this ' institution ' was ' a gang organized 
for common wholesale murder ' and robbery, re-assured in 
advance by Ernest Seidler, People's Commissioner for 
Police, who said : * You may put out of the way as many 
" bourgeois " as you like ; I will see that everything is 
hushed up ! ' 

The * Lenin Boys ' took possession of Count Batthyanyi's 
mansion in the Theresa Boulevard, which was transformed 
into a veritable fortress ; in the cellars were amassed 
enormous quantities of ammunition, while the ' garrison ' 
had at their disposal field guns, minenwerfers, and twenty- 
four machine guns. The pavement in front of the house 
was barricaded, while before the gate heavy motor-lorries 
armed with machine-guns were kept constantly in readiness. 
Each ' Lenin Boy ' was armed to the teeth with revolvers, 
a bowie knife and hand grenades. The whole town knew 
the ' Lenin Boys ' by their leather coats and flat caps with 
bag-like flaps at the back. (Cserny himself carried a long, 
sharp hunting knife stuck in one of his yellow top-boots.) 
To their fortress-mansion the ' Boys ' conveyed by motor- 
lorries enormous quantities of ' commandeered ' clothes, 
food, wine, jewellery and ladies, who, after being forced to 
take part in their wild orgies, were boxed on the ears and 
' chucked out.' 

These bandits had a peculiar slang of their own to express 
their methods of assassination, viz., ' to send to Gades,' 
' to refrigerate,' ' to send floating,' ' to send home ' ; their 
torture and flogging might be ' under-done ' or ' well-done ' 
(slang phrases adopted from the kitchen jargon). When- 


ever Korvin or Gabriel Schon (the political commissary 
attached to the District Commander of the Bed Guard) 
telephoned to Cserny, saying ' I am sending you a man ; 
send him to Gades,' the person in question was dead by the 
following morning, and his corpse ' sent floating ' on the 

From among these ruffians were selected the Soviet House 
Guards, as well as the Szamuelly Detachment, which was 
quartered in the leaders' special train, and was always kept 
in readiness to travel away.* 

Cserny's spy, a boy of fourteen years from Nagy varad, of 
the name of Nicholas Gelbert, was able to obtain an entrance 
everywhere as an unsuspected child, and indeed carried 
on his trade with astonishing zeal ; on one occasion he 
himself shot a captain, for which act he is said to have 
received from Bela Kun a reward of 10,000 crowns. 

When the ' terrorists ' were temporarily disbanded, forty 
of the * most trustworthy ' were transferred to the detective 
section operating in the Parliament building ; later on, 
however, the gang was again organized and took up its 
quarters in Buda, in the Mozdony-utca school. 

These brigands ' despatched ' a host of persons without 
the formality of a trial, either by the orders of their 
superiors or on their own initiative, in the latter case either 
to humour their cynical lust of blood or with intent to rob. 
One day an ensign of hussars, Nicholas Dobsa, having lost 
his certificate of identity, went to the Soviet House to 
procure a new one ; in consequence he was brought before 
Gabriel Schan, the Political Commissary, twenty-three 
years old, who had formerly been a law student and had 
become one of the most blackguardly desperadoes of the 
Red regime. The ensign smiled when speaking to his 
inquisitor ; this was reason enough for Gabriel Schan to 
have him despatched as a ' saucy youth ' to Cserny in the 
Batthyanyi mansion. Two ' terrorists ' (Geza Groo and 
John Nyakas) seized the unfortunate young man, dragged 
him to the cellar, and beat him unmercifully, fracturing 
his lower jaw and one of his arms ; then they dug a grave 
for him and shot him. Merely because he had smiled 
when speaking to Gabriel Schan ! 

Dr. Nicholas Berend, a University professor, on the day 
of the counter-revolution in June waved a white hand- 

* There were similar detachments outside of Budapest, the samo 
being delegated to hold the provincial towns in mortal terror, e.g,, 
the ' Fabik Detachment ' in Szekesfehervar, the ' Gombos Terror 
Gang ' in Gyor, eto. 


kerchief at the gunboats which bombarded the Soviet 
House ; he was shot and his body robbed by terrorists, 
who took his money, watch, clothes and shoes (in a word, 
everything), and then threw his corpse into the Danube. 
This was how this notorious ' political institution ' showed 
its respect for the medical profession. In the evening of 
the same day, a medical student named Bela Madarasz, 
who, preparing for an examination, remained absorbed in 
his books in his garret room, and kept a light burning 
beyond the prescribed hour, was dragged by the terrorists 
into the street, where one of them gave him a blow on the 
head, while another stabbed him in the abdomen ; after 
his gold watch had been taken from him, he was thrown 
into a dust-cart and ' sent floating ' in the Danube. 

Gustavus Szigeti, a merchant who had been arrested in 
Veszprem on suspicion of having harboured Count 
Festetich in his house, was, at the instance of the Political 
Commissary for Veszprem, who offered a reward of 5,000 
crowns, taken bound by the terrorist Gabriel Csomor to a 
sandbank in Lake Balaton and there stabbed to death by 
that ruffian, who fastened a piece of a broken grave-stone 
to the corpse, cut off the tip of the left ear, and sank the 
body in the lake, afterwards sending the ear- tip to the 
Commissary as authentic proof that he had killed the victim . 

The Soviet rulers indulged a special hatred towards the 
rigorous chiefs of the former gendarmerie too. A few days 
prior to the fall of the Soviet Government, Edward Chlepko, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Red Guard, on the basis of a 
pre-arranged anonymous denunciation, had Lieutenant- 
General Oscar Ferry arrested, together with two lieutenant- 
colonels of the gendarmerie. The political detectives 
Bonyhati (formerly a lieutenant in the reserve) and 
Radvanyi two men whom even Cserny dubbed ' blood- 
hounds ' conveyed the unfortunate officers to the 
Terrorists' barracks in Mozdony utca, where, after three 
days' fruitless inquisition, all three were hanged by the 
' Lenin Boys ' on a water-pipe in the cellar. These victims, 
too, were buried in the Danube. 

During the reign of horror in Budapest, Szamuelly's 
' death -train ' rushed from one end of the country to the 
other, landing its hellish passengers at the scene of every 
counter-revolutionary movement. So far as we have 
hitherto been able to ascertain, the official assassin of the 
Dictatorship executed thirty persons in Szolnok, twenty 
in Kalocsa, sixty-one in the small village of Duna-pataj, 
in addition killing a host of other innocent people in twenty- 


five different towns and parishes. The most ' eminent ' 
of the hangmen of this Hungarian Jefferys were Louis 
Kovacs, Arpad Kerekes (Kohn), and Charles Sturcz, who, 
at a mere sign of the hand from Sz&muelly, hanged or shot 
seventeen, forty-six, and forty-nine persons respectively. 

The usual custom of these human brutes was to place the 
victim on a chair beneath the tree selected for the purpose, 
then to throw a rope round his neck and order him to kick 
away the chair ; whenever the victim was unable, owing 
to his terror of death, to do so, he was beaten with rifle- 
butts and prodded with knives, until the instinct of escape 
from this sanguinary torture compelled the writhing victim 
to comply with the command. These beasts beat grey- 
haired old men to death ; in some cases they gouged out 
the victims' eyes before killing them with all the refinement 
of Bolshevik cruelty. In one case, after hanging a parish 
notary, they forced his wife, who was approaching confine- 
ment, to watch her husband's death agony. They even 
slapped the faces of the dead and kicked them, using 
obscene language in their abusive mockery of their victims. 

' I could not continue to watch these scenes ' an army 
surgeon confessed ; ' I broke into a convulsive fit of sobbing, 
a thing that never once happened to me during four years 
of service at the front.' 

In comparison with these monsters, the jackal is a mere 
lamb, the rattlesnake an innocent gold-fish. They walked 
in human guise ; but the bestial instinct for plunder and 
butchery latent within them was not restrained by any 
human feeling or kept within bounds (was, indeed, rather 
enhanced) by human intelligence. 

Yet, undoubtedly, the awful responsibility involved must 
be borne by those who either directly enjoined or at least 
watched, tolerated and approved the perpetration of 
the crimes committed by them. 

Each of the responsible leaders knew that by ' Commune ' 
the criminal means liberty to steal, and by ' terror ' blind 

These leaders were the conscious promoters of a fearful 
material and moral devastation, and must have known that 
the very existence of a whole generation of working men 
was at stake. ' Thus crimes are born, and curses but not 
new worlds ! ' 

With their souls full of hatred, they made boastful 
promises of earthly bliss to those whom they swept to 

' No greater catastrophe than Bolshevism could have 


befallen the working classes/ says in one of its manifestoes 
the council of the newly-revived Social Democrat Party. 

Is it worth our while to inquire whether, amid all this 
horror and terror, there is to be found anywhere even a 
spark of that ' holy madness ' which makes the apostle 
ready to die the death of a martyr for his creed ? 

Rigault, the Chief of Police in the French Commune, and 
one of its blackest figures, waited in Paris for the coming of 
the troops from Versailles ; when the soldiers thronging 
into his suburban hotel mistook the proprietor for him and 
were about to seize him, Rigault hastened towards them 
with the words ' I am Rigault ! I am neither a brute nor 
a coward ! ' Ten minutes later, Rigault was dead. 

And the Budapest People's Commissioners, the men 
who had so often emphasized ' the unparalleled cowardice 
of the bourgeoisie ' and abused our heroes and our martyrs, 
when the assassin's dagger slipped from their grasp, 
packed in feverish haste the foreign currency which they 
had ' sequestered ' for their own private use from the 
Austro-Hungarian Bank, and, boarding their special train, 
fled in a panic to a milder climate, away from this 
plundered, devastated and unhappy country.* 

* Bela Kun and a large number of his fellow-Commissioners 
escaped to Vienna. Our efforts to obtain their extradition by 
Austria were fruitless ; under the pressure of the Socialists the 
Austrian Government refused, and subsequently handed them over 
to the Russian Soviet authorities. 

After the re -establishment of law and order, of the revolutionary 
criminals arrested ninety-six were condemned to death, the rest 
being sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. Of the persons 
condemned to death fourteen were reprieved, eighteen (together 
with 400 other condemned persons) handed over in exchange for 
Hungarian prisoners of war to the Russian Soviet, while sixty -four 
were hanged, the latter number including Korvin, Laszlo, Schan, 
and Cserny. 

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